Nokia 9 passes through the FCC with dual rear cameras and Snapdragon 835

We might still see a Christmas miracle, but apart from that, it’s looking more likely that the unannounced Nokia 9 will not debut before the year is out. Even so, it appears that the smartphone recently paid a visit to the FCC, with the phone appearing similar to the Nokia 8 in a few areas.

Starting with the display, the Nokia 9 features a 5.5-inch QHD OLED display, which is a bit larger than the Nokia 8’s 5.3-inch LCD display and delivers deeper blacks and punchier, albeit slightly unrealistic, colors. Much like the Nokia 8, the Nokia 9 also sports dual rear cameras — the former features dual 13 MP cameras, while the latter opts for a 12 MP and 13 MP sensor.

The rear cameras are not that different, though the story changes with the front camera. Whereas the Nokia 8 features a 13 MP selfie camera, the Nokia 9 makes do with a 5 MP sensor. I’m not sure why this change is so drastic, and even though megapixels aren’t everything, it’s hard to ignore the drop in image resolution.

Editor’s Pick

To wrap up the differences, the Nokia 9 swaps the Nokia 8’s 3,090 mAh battery for a larger 3,250 mAh power pack.

Everything else about the Nokia 9 is pretty much the same when compared to the Nokia 8. That means you’ll still find Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset and 128 GB of internal storage, with a microSD card slot available for additional space.

Some people might be upset about Nokia’s choice to go with the Snapdragon 835 for the Nokia 9, particularly since Qualcomm announced the newer, more capable Snapdragon 845 chipset. At the same time, it’s not like the Snapdragon 845 was announced when Nokia started work on the Nokia 9.

There are still some unanswered questions around the Nokia 9, such as when Nokia will unveil the phone, when it will be available, and how much it will go for. At this point, the earliest we could see the Nokia 9 is during CES 2018, though MWC 2018 might be slightly more viable.

The 7th Continent Kickstarter

I still haven’t really had the time to playtest The 7th Continent, a boardgame I got via Kickstarter. But now the second round of Kickstarter started. If you are interested, you can get the game here. The game isn’t available elsewhere. That is why I pledged $49 to get the expansion set.

P.S. The Kickstarter is already 2500% funded, so with them having made good on their first Kickstarter promises, this is a relatively sure bet. Might of course be late, but that is pretty normal on Kickstarter.

What does a DM need to know?

I recently offered a young player of D&D who was interested in becoming a Dungeon Master to give him some pointers on how to be a good DM. But while I have been a DM for nearly 4 decades now, it isn’t actually all that easy to describe what makes a good DM. In some ways it is more an art than a science. And where it is a science, it is a badly documented one.

The basic role of a DM is easily described: He sets the scene, asks the players what they do, and then reacts to their answer by telling them the consequences of their actions, thus setting the next scene. Rinse, lather, repeat. What makes the description of a good DM so complicated is that different people are good DMs in very different ways. You ask a player what he specifically liked with a DM, and realize that whatever that was, it was probably something optional. For example when I ask for feedback from various players in different groups of mine, I frequently get told that they appreciate my preparation of visual playing aids: Battlemaps, 3D printed miniatures, handouts. But you can play with another good DM who doesn’t use any of those! Another DM might be appreciated for his creation of fantastic worlds, but you can play great games without those as well. Some DMs are great play-actors doing accents and voices for NPCs, but you don’t need that either. So what is the stuff that is actually essential?

Dungeons & Dragons, and any other pen & paper role-playing game, inherently always exists on two different levels: Horgar the barbarian swings his battleaxe and with a satisfying crunch decapitates the evil wizard. John the player of Horgar declares that he wants to attack the evil wizard and rolls a 20 on his attack. Horgar and John need each other. Without John, Horgar doesn’t exist. Without Horgar, John isn’t playing D&D. I believe that an awareness of those two levels, and a constant effort to keep the two levels in balance with each other, might well be the most important part of a DM’s job. Concentrate too much on the story, and the players get bored because they don’t get to roll dice any more. Concentrate too much on the dice, and you end up playing a board game.

Corollary to that is the need for balance between DM actions and player actions. D&D is a game of interactive story-telling. Take the interaction away, and it becomes a lot less interesting. No DM’s hour-long monologue beats Netflix in entertainment value. But letting the players role-play alone without feedback on the consequences from the DM only leads to people becoming lost and confused. Players need “agency”, the ability to influence the story and the outcome of situations. But that agency only makes sense in the context of there being a story and a situation to overcome. The DM needs to make sure that he tells the players enough for them to understand what is going on, so they can act, but also to leave enough room for different choices and original ideas from the players.

That gets us to another important point: The “never say no” rule. It isn’t an absolute rule, because it applies only to constructive input from the players. But the idea is that as long as the player proposes something constructive, the DM should accept the proposal and try to work with it. You can still judge that the idea is very unlikely to work, and require the player to succeed in a very difficult roll. But that is still far better than letting the players propose lots of things and always saying no until by chance they come upon the one solution you previously decided was the good one. Saying yes can change the whole campaign to something you hadn’t imagined, but that is the beauty of it. The goal is not to have the story proceed on predetermined rails, but to have everyone at the table contribute to the story and together create something greater than one man’s story. In my Zeitgeist campaign the players were a group of policemen working for the king; but it was up to the players whether they wanted to play those policemen as the Keystone Cops or the Gestapo or something in between.

While these rules certainly don’t cover everything a DM needs to do or needs to be, I do think that they are among the most important for success. What other advice would you give a new DM to help him become a good DM?

Amazon readying huge Digital Day 2017 discounts on Wonder Woman, WWE 2K18, and more

Amazon has announced that Digital Day will once again threaten our wallets in a final end of year sale chock full of huge savings. The second annual Digital Day is scheduled for December 29th and Amazon says it will be offering over 5,000 deals on movies, TV shows, apps, eBooks, and mobile games.

If you missed out on the first Digital Day sale last year, think of it like Prime Day but exclusively for digital items. As the name suggests, the biggest deals will last for just 24 hours, although some will go live as early as December 26th. You can sign up here to stay up to date with all of the offers, or you can follow #DigitalDay on social media.

Amazon has provided a sneak peek at some of the headline deals which include 60% off the fantastic live-action Wonder Woman movie on Amazon Video, 33% off video games like Sonic Forces, Civilization VI, NBA 2K18, and WWE 2K18, and up to 75% off on Kindle best-selling books like The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, The Silent Corner, and Modern Romance.

Here are some of the rest of the Digital Day deals set to drop in just over a week, plucked straight from an Amazon press release:

  • $10 Amazon.com credit when you subscribe to HBO NOW on Amazon
  • Save 25% off $49.99 Lapis bundle for Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
  • Save 50% off all in-game items for Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Save up to 80% off in-game items for Playrix games
  • Save up to 75% off ROBLOX New Year’s Eve themed wearables
  • Save up to 80% off best-selling Marvel graphic novels like Civil War II, House of M, World War Hulk, and Star Wars
  • Three free audiobooks when you sign up for an Audible trial
  • 25% or more off PC software like Rosetta Stone and Adobe Creative Cloud Photography
    First 3 months free in Daily Burn streaming workouts

Digital Day bargains can be purchased via Amazon’s online store, the Amazon App and the Amazon Appstore (exclusively on Android). We’ll be keeping an eye out for any other great Digital Day deals, so be sure to watch this space for updates.

Why Your Opinion Matters & Why You Shouldn’t Fear Having One



Think for a second about every history class you’ve ever had. Think about all the change that has happened between the different time periods you learned about. Where would we be if someone hadn’t thought that there was a better way to do something than the current way? Would we still be building houses of clay and using stone tools? Someone had to advocate for this change. Someone had to believe or have the opinion that it was necessary and most people probably disagreed with him at the time.

We all have opinions. Some of us have no inhibitions sharing them with total strangers on the internet or via social media. In some circumstances, two very different opinions collide and all hell breaks loose. And this happens on a daily, sometimes hourly basis.We all have opinions. Some of us have no inhibitions sharing them with total strangers on the internet or via social media. In some circumstances, two very different opinions collide and all hell breaks loose. And this happens on a daily, sometimes hourly basis.

Having opinions is healthy. It indicates a progressive nature – one which signifies that we are improving to be better, better educated, more knowledgeable people. But because everyone has opinions, everyone thinks they are deserving of being heard, applauded, agreed with, admired and liked for their opinions. The keyword here is “deserving”, and they will fight, troll, insult, provoke and lie to turn their opinion into the common truth.Having opinions is healthy. It indicates a progressive nature – one which signifies that we are improving to be better, better educated, more knowledgeable people. But because everyone has opinions, everyone thinks they are deserving of being heard, applauded, agreed with, admired and liked for their opinions. The keyword here is “deserving”, and they will fight, troll, insult, provoke and lie to turn their opinion into the common truth.

Does that mean you have to stop having opinions? Of course not, but there are a few things we should address when it comes to opinions.Does that mean you have to stop having opinions? Of course not, but there are a few things we should address when it comes to opinions.

Facts vs Opinions

A fact is a statement that is true and can be verified objectively, or proven. In other words, a fact is true and correct no matter what. An opinion, however, is a statement that holds an element of belief; it tells how someone feels.

Fact:
  • Dogs have fur.
  • The Beatles were a band.
  • The last day of school is May 22nd.
Opinion
  • Dog fur is pretty.
  • The Beatles sang great songs.
  • May 22nd is the best day of the year.

Opinions Can Change

Why is it so hard to have an opinion on the Internet? My theory is that it is written down: in your timeline, your blog, in your chat history somewhere. The problem with social media is that your past opinions can come back and haunt you.


The thing is, whatever opinions, stances or views you subscribed to when you were 15 may not be the same as when you are 40. People change, so do opinions. And while it is harder to hold verbal opinions against someone, an inked opinion is pretty hard to shake off. And no one is safe from this, not even celebrities.

Opinions Could Be Wrong

Let’s address wrong opinions. Many arguments last longer than necessary because of a dedicated section on how the arguer is entitled to their opinions, how it is a” freedom of speech” thing, and how as long as it makes them happy, they can say whatever they want.

We’re not children. We don’t come to school the next day and play together at the playgrounds again, totally forgetting the previous day’s fights and arguments. We remember hurtful insults and rude comments and ignorant rants, and that label you used to totally strip another person’s identity down to the bare bones.



Being entitled to an opinion does not automatically make the opinion right. It does not reduce the hurt from name-calling or make things okay just because “you didn’t mean it that way”. If you want to fight to the death for your opinion, remember that you have to be accountable for how you deliver that opinion, and that there is still a possibility of you being proven wrong.

Opinions Need Context

Face it, in every argument there is someone who is probably wrong and the other person is therefore, by elimination and definition, right. Why in the world would arguments drag out so long then? Because of context.

That’s right. Opinions need context. Many arguments cannot be resolved because the people involved in the argument are basing their opinions on different contexts.

You can’t generalize with opinions. They all take shape in this bubble of conditions that we call context. When talking about topics like abortions, gay marriage, women CEOs, self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, searching for and contacting alien life, bear in mind that all these topics have potential for controversy and that’s the kind of place where everyone has an opinion.

And depending on their context, everyone’s opinion may be right.

Opinions Label You

There are a lot of cliques, gangs and groups online: Android or Apple, PC or Console, Chrome or Firefox; here are more tech battles you can check out. And like all great battles, there are plenty of passionate people on both sides of the war.

When you have an opinion that aligns yourself to a group or faction, you run the risk of mistaking this sense of acceptance and belonging as who you are. You get reduced down to a label, when in fact you have a personality that is so much more complex and too complicated to be summarized by a single label such as feminist, hipster, fanboy, or housewife.

Beware of parroting opinions that you don’t believe in, in order to be accepted by the crowd. You have your own set of opinions, formed by your life experiences, by the things you read, by the conversations you have, and you deserve to let that surface.

Reject the labels. You can care about more than two things at a time, and just because you are a hipster or a housewife, it doesn’t diminish the opinion you have to share with the rest of the world.

Your Opinion Matters

Opinions can and will evolve; sometimes at the risk of reshaping your reputation and credibility. And as much as you are entitled to them, don’t hold on to them too tightly. Opinions have a way of being infused with our dignity – it makes us think that if we change our opinion, them we’re flimsy or weak, when in fact it is a very natural process, kind of like growing up.

Just make sure that your opinion rocks, and don’t be afraid to share it.

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Another Positive Factor From the Alabama Election That Republicans Don’t Want to Talk About

Tuesday’s turnout by race fit historic patterns, but the party white Alabamians voted for didn’t.

There’s one feature of the voting in this week’s Alabama special election that elected Democrat Doug Jones to the U.S. Senate that Republicans aren’t talking about—tens of thousands of white voters who were reliable Republicans voted for the Democrat.

This observation is missing from the mainstream media narrative that correctly, but incompletely, points to historically through-the-roof black voter turnout as a core pillar of Jones’ victory, as Matt Bruenig, who blogs on politics and economics, noted.

“The overwhelming mainstream narrative of Doug Jones’s victory over Roy Moore in Alabama has been focused on black turnout,” Bruenig wrote, citing the New York Times, which reported, “According to CNN exit polling, 30 percent of the electorate was African-American, with 96 percent of them voting for Mr. Jones. (Mr. Jones’ backers had felt he needed to get north of 25 percent to have a shot to win.) A remarkable 98 percent of black women voters supported Mr. Jones. The share of black voters on Tuesday was higher than the share in 2008 and 2012, when Barack Obama was on the ballot.”

But as Bruenig notes, “if you actually look at the exit polling, it is pretty clear that the real story of Jones’ victory was not inordinate black turnout but rather inordinate white support for the Democratic candidate.”

He compiled and compared “the black share of the electorate, black support for Democrats, and the election result for the 2008, 2012 and 2017 Alabama elections,” in which each election saw 28 or 29 percent voter turnout. He then compared the white share of the Alabama electorate, which was also virtually unchanged and between 65 and 68 percent. 

“The white share of the electorate is virtually unchanged, but white support for the Democrat changes dramatically, rising all the way to 30 percent in the Jones-Moore election,” Bruenig said. “This white swing towards the Democratic candidate is basically solely responsible for the fact that Jones won rather than losing by over 20 points, which is the typical outcome of a statewide Alabama election that features this level of black turnout.”

Bruenig’s observation doesn’t detract in the slightest from the historic turnout by all the communities of color in Alabama. But it does reveal that many Republicans are not diehard partisans who would never vote for a compelling Democratic candidate.

Some of those white voters were 18 to 44, as media exit polls noted, but others were “white women and college graduates… likely to recoil from Trump’s campaign and swing in Democrats’ direction than white men and those without college degrees.”

However you slice it, Alabama’s special election shows that red-state America is not as monolithic as Republicans would have you believe. That’s another hopeful sign to emerge from Tuesday’s vote.

 

Related Stories

  • Can Democrats Extend the Wave That Swept Doug Jones Into Office in 2018?
  • Why Can’t Alabama Republicans Admit Doug Jones Won Fair and Square?
  • Russian Propaganda on Social Media in 2016 Has Forever Changed How U.S. Candidates Will Campaign

Robert Reich: A Guide to Why the Trump-Republican Tax Plan Is a Disgrace (for When you Confront Your Republican Uncle Bob During the Holidays)

Shame on Trump and the Republicans who have lied to the pubic about its consequences.

Here are the 3 main Republican arguments in favor of the Republican tax plan, followed by the truth.

1. It will make American corporations competitive with foreign corporations, which are taxed at a lower rate.

Rubbish.

(1) American corporations now pay an effective rate (after taking deductions and tax credits) that’s just about the same as most foreign based corporations pay.

(2) Most of these other countries also impose a “Value Added Tax” on top of the corporate tax.

(3) When we cut our corporate rate from 35% to 20%, other nations will cut their corporate rates in order to be competitive with us – so we gain nothing anyway.

(4) Most big American corporations who benefit most from the Republican tax plan aren’t even “American.” Over 35 percent of their shareholders are foreign (which means that by cutting corporate taxes we’re giving a big tax cut to those foreign shareholders). 20 percent of their employees are foreign, while many Americans work for foreign-based corporations.

(5) The “competitiveness” of America depends on American workers, not on “American” corporations. But this tax plan will make it harder to finance public investments in education, health, and infrastructure, on which the future competitiveness of American workers depends.

(6) American corporations already have more money than they know what to do with. Their profits are at record levels. They’re using them to buy back their shares of stock, and raise executive pay. That’s what they’ll do with the additional $1 trillion they’ll receive in this tax cut.

***

2. With the tax cut, big corporations and the rich will invest and create more jobs.

Baloney.

(1) Job creation doesn’t trickle down. After Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush cut taxes on the top, few jobs and little growth resulted. America cut taxes on corporations in 2004 in an attempt to get them to bring their profits home from abroad, and what happened? They didn’t invest. They just bought up more shares of their own stock, and increased executive pay.

(2) Companies expand and create jobs when there’s more demand for their goods and services. That demand comes from customers who have the money to buy what companies sell. Those customers are primarily the middle class and poor, who spend far more of their incomes than the rich. But this tax bill mostly benefits the rich.

(3) At a time when the richest 1 percent already have 40 percent of all the wealth in the country, it’s immoral to give them even more – especially when financed partly by 13 million low-income Americans who will lose their health coverage as a result of this tax plan (according to the Congressional Budget Office), and by subsequent cuts in safety-net programs necessitated by increasing the deficit by $1.5 trillion.

***

3. It will give small businesses an incentive to invest and create more jobs.

Untrue.

(1) At least 85 percent of small businesses earn so little they already pay the lowest corporate tax rate, which this plan doesn’t change.

(2) In fact, because the tax plan bestows much larger rewards on big businesses, they’ll have more ability to use predatory tactics to squeeze small firms and force them out of business.

***

Don’t let your Uncle Bob be fooled: Republicans are voting for this because their wealthy patrons demand it. Their tax plan will weaken our economy for years – reducing demand, widening inequality, and increasing the national debt by at least $1.5 trillion over the next decade.

Shame on the greedy Republican backers who have engineered this. Shame on Trump and the Republicans who have lied to the pubic about its consequences.

 

 

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The T-Mobile HTC U11 Life is getting Android 8.0 Oreo (updated)

Update (12/18/17): Just about three weeks ago, the unlocked HTC U11 Life was upgraded to Android 8.0 Oreo. Now, the T-Mobile variant is receiving the update as well. T-Mobile is the only carrier in the United States to carry the HTC U11 Life so between it and the unlocked versions, pretty much everyone should be updated to Oreo at this point.

HTC warns that this is a pretty large download so you’ll need to connect to Wi-Fi before you start. As a reminder, Oreo brings background limits on apps that help to save power, smart text selection, grouped notifications, and picture-in-picture mode, among other features. To read more about Oreo, check out our review here.

Original article (11/30/17): The HTC U11 Life was introduced earlier this month, arriving on the Android One program in global markets (with almost stock Android), while those in the US received a variant with HTC’s Sense UI. The device launched with Android Oreo outside of the US, meaning those residing in the States were left waiting for the latest Google software, but HTC assured that it wouldn’t be far off.

Today, I bring good news as the US unlocked U11 Life is now said to be receiving Oreo. HTC Vice President of Product Manager Mo Versi delivered the news via a Tweet published a couple of hours ago. Versi said that the update would be available “starting today,” but we don’t know how long it could take to hit individual devices.

HTC has been on a roll with its rollouts this week, having upgraded the regular HTC U11 flagship to Oreo just a couple of days ago. Here’s hoping the speedy updates continue for the rest of its smartphone lineup.

Check out our full HTC U11 Life review at the link and visit our dedicated Android 8.0 Oreo update page to find out more about HTC’s schedule.

CES 2018: Here’s what to expect

What is CES? CES an annual trade show put on by the Consumer Technology Association. It’s one of the biggest tech trade shows in the world with over 170,000 people in attendance. Companies big and small attend the trade show every year, showing off the latest and greatest products they have to offer.

When is CES? CES will take place between Tuesday, January 9 and Friday, January 12, 2018.

Where is CES? Like every year, CES 2018 will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

What can we expect from CES 2018? This year, we can expect to see devices shown off from just about every segment of the technology world, including drones, audio, IoT/smart home, AR/VR, vehicles, and more. We don’t usually see too many smartphones being shown off at CES, at least compared to MWC and IFA.

Most of the major companies we cover here at Android Authority will be in attendance, including Samsung, LG, ASUS, Sony, Huawei, and others. Not many companies have shared which products they plan on revealing at the trade show, though we have heard many rumors that give us a good idea of what to expect. We can also make educated guesses based on what was announced at CES 2017.

So, which products are expected to make their debut at the trade show? Let’s take a look.

Samsung

At CES this year, Samsung will show off its new selfie-focused mid-rangers, the Galaxy A8 (2018) and Galaxy A8 Plus (2018). Announced in December, the Galaxy A8 and A8 Plus sport dual front-facing 16 and 8 MP cameras with f/1.9 aperture lenses. This means you’ll be able to take portrait mode selfies, and blur the background before and after the phone is taken, just like on the Galaxy Note 8.

Related

A few other things worth mentioning about the Galaxy A8 lineup. The A8 features a 5.6-inch 18.5:9 Full HD+ display, while the A8 Plus comes with a 6.0-inch panel with the same resolution. The both come with a 16 MP camera on the back with an f/1.7 aperture, an octa-core processor, 4 GB of RAM, USB Type-C, and support for Samsung Pay. They’ll both go on sale in January, though we don’t have pricing information yet.

According to a recent report from VentureBeat, the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are “scheduled to make their first public appearance” at CES. This doesn’t necessarily mean the handsets will be announced at the show— Samsung might just show them off in a teaser video. The official unveiling isn’t slated until February 2018. Though, it wouldn’t surprise us if Samsung used CES to announce an official reveal date for the devices. What we’re saying is, don’t expect to learn a lot about the S9 at CES this year.

Samsung might announce an upgraded version of the Chromebook Pro in Las Vegas.

Samsung could also announce an upgraded version of the Chromebook Pro, which launched at CES 2017. The device, which might take on the Google Pixelbook, is rumored to come with an Intel Core m7 processor and 16 GB of RAM.

LG

LG’s press conference will take place on January 8, a day before CES kicks off. According to a report from BusinessKorea, LG will reveal the G7 at the trade show — but we don’t agree. The flagship will likely make its debut at MWC in Barcelona, same as its predecessor.

But that doesn’t mean LG won’t reveal any new handsets. LG is expected to show off a new device in its K series, just like it did last year. We’ll likely see the LG K10 (2018) at the trade show, which is rumored to come with a 5.3-inch 1080p display, 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage, plus FM radio. This handset could also be LG’s first mid-to-low-end device to feature its recent mobile payments system, LG Pay.

In addition to a few new mid-range smartphones, LG is also expected to announce new TVs and a number of smart appliances.

Huawei

Huawei isn’t expected to launch new smartphones at CES this year, but we will hear some details about the Mate 10 Pro coming to the United States. In a recent interview, Huawei CEO Richard Yu confirmed that Huawei will sell one of its Mate 10 devices (likely the Mate 10 Pro) through wireless carriers in 2018. More details will be revealed at CES.

Read: Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro review: All about promises

Rumor has it that the Mate 10 Pro will be sold exclusively by AT&T. There’s no word on how much it will cost or when it will be released, but based on the US release date of the Mate 9, the handset could go on sale a few days after Huawei launches it.

Honor

Editor’s Pick

Honor likely won’t reveal new smartphones at CES. The company has recently launched the 7X and View 10 in the US, Europe, and a few other markets.

The 7X is already available stateside for $200, while the View 10 will go on sale starting January 8. However, Honor hasn’t announced US pricing yet.

That makes us think it could share this info with the public in Las Vegas. A move like this makes sense, as it would allow Honor to put the spotlight on the device right before it goes on sale.

Google

As spotted by Chrome Unboxed, CES 2018 will be the first time Google will be present at the show with a big, standalone booth. Not only that, the company has also reserved eight hospitality suites.

It looks like Google is preparing something big for CES 2018.

So it looks like Google is preparing something big. What exactly? Rumors suggest it could reveal a few new Chromebooks that will join the Pixelbook, which made its debut in October. It’s possible we could see a few other products, although there’s no word on what they might be.

Additionally, Google might use the event to offer consumers a close-up look at its lineup of products. These include the Pixel 2 smartphones, Daydream View VR headset, and smart speakers like the Home Mini, among others.

Nothing has been confirmed yet, so we’ll have to wait until January to find out what Google’s plans are.

ASUS

Rumors suggest that ASUS is working on an upgraded version of its C302CA Chromebook that will go head to head with Google’s Pixelbook. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but there’s a chance we’ll see it at CES.

Editor’s Pick

The device is said to come with the Core m7 processor and 16 GB of RAM, same as the upgraded version of the Chromebook Pro Samsung is reportedly working on.

It’s also possible that ASUS will reveal a new smartphone or two in Las Vegas. The company took the wraps off the ZenFone AR and ZenFone 3 Zoom at CES 2017, so it’s possible we could see followup devices at the trade show.


Many other companies including HTC, Sony, ZTE, and Lenovo will be present at CES 2018, though there are no specific details on which products they might show off. We’ll likely hear more rumors about the products that could make their debut at the show over the next month. When that happens, we’ll update this post to keep you up to speed.

Which product do you think will attract the most attention at CES? Let us know in the comments.

Android Widget: Android – LeaVe my baThRoom at-least !

What is a widget?  In Android, the word widget is a generic term for a bit of self-contained code that displays a program, or a piece of a program, that is also (usually) a shortcut to a larger application. We see them every day on web pages, on our computer desktop and on our smartphones, but we never give too much thought into how great they are. Widgets first appeared in Android in version 1.5, and really gained traction thanks to HTC’s Sense-flavored version of the operating system. Prior to the release of the HTC Hero and our first taste of HTC Sense, widgets were functional, but pretty bland in appearance. Since then, the people making our phones and independent developers alike have done some marvelous things with widgets, and it’s hard to imagine using Android without them.
Android support to implement widgets for both, the home screen and the lock screen.

Common Types of Android Widget
Widget typically fall in one of the following categories

1. Information Widgets

Information widgets display information elements that are important to a user and track how that that information changes over time. Touching information widgets typically launches the associated app and opens a detail view of the widget information. Example for information widgets are weather widgets, clock widgets, etc.

2.Collection widgets

As the name implies, collection widgets specialize on displaying multitude elements of the same type, such as a collection of pictures from a gallery app, a collection of articles from a news app or a collection of emails/messages from a communication app. Collection widgets typically focus on two use cases: browsing the collection, and opening an element of the collection to its detail view for consumption. Collection widgets can scroll vertically.

3.Control widgets

The main purpose of a control widget is to display often used functions that the user can trigger right from the home screen without having to open the app first. A typical example of control widgets are music app widgets that allow the user to play, pause or skip music tracks from outside the actual music app. Power Control Widgets are using to make changes to the system settings easier and simpler. You just need to toggle On or Off almost all the system settings with just one tap.

4. Hybrid Widget
They combine the elements of different other widgets in one.

Some Widget Limitations
Gestures
Only two gestures available for widgets are Touch and Vertical Swipe
Elements
Due to gestures limitations, some of the UI elements that rely on restricted gestures are not available for widgets.

To create your own widget and use your widget in layout XML, there are two additional files for you need to create. Here is a list of files you’ll need to create to implement a custom widget:

XML Definition File – Click on your project and create a new folder called xml. Now right click on the newly created folder and create a new XML file. An XML flie defines the XML element used to instantiate your widget, and the attributes that it supports. The resource type of the XML file should be set to AppWidgetProvider. In the xml file, define some properties which are as follows :-

<appwidget-provider 
xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
android:minWidth="146dp"
android:updatePeriodMillis="0"
android:minHeight="146dp"
android:initialLayout="@layout/activity_main">
</appwidget-provider>

Layout XML [optional]– An optional XML file inside res/layout/ that describes the layout of your widget. You could also do this in code in your Java file.

Java Implementation File– This is the file that implements the behavior of the widget. If you can instantiate the object from layout XML, you will also have to code a constructor that retrieves all the attribute values from the layout XML file.

Java File must extend AppWidgetProvider class and override its update method. In the update method, you have to deifne the object of two classes PendingIntent and RemoteViews.

PendingIntent pending = PendingIntent.getActivity(context, 0, intent, 0);
RemoteViews views = new RemoteViews(context.getPackageName(), R.layout.activity_main);

In the end you have to call an update method updateAppWidget() of the AppWidgetManager class.

appWidgetManager.updateAppWidget(currentWidgetId,views);

Following are the other Methods of AppWidgetProvider class to manipulate widgets.
onDeleted(Context context, int[] appWidgetIds)
This is called when an instance of AppWidgetProvider is deleted.

onDisabled(Context context)
This is called when the last instance of AppWidgetProvider is deleted

onEnabled(Context context)
This is called when an instance of AppWidgetProvider is created.

onReceive(Context context, Intent intent)
It is used to dispatch calls to the various methods of the class

You also need to declare approvider widget class in Android manifest file as follows

appWidgetManager.updateAppWidget(currentWidgetId,views);  

<receiver android:name="ExampleAppWidgetProvider" >

<intent-filter>
<action android:name="android.appwidget.action.APPWIDGET_UPDATE" />
</intent-filter>

<meta-data android:name="android.appwidget.provider"
android:resource="@xml/example_appwidget_info" />
</receiver>

Example

here is the example of application widget which create basic widget which will open the Web Browser.
Content of the MainActivity.java

package net.suven.android.androidwidget;

import android.app.PendingIntent;
import android.appwidget.AppWidgetManager;
import android.appwidget.AppWidgetProvider;
import android.content.Context;
import android.content.Intent;
import android.net.Uri;
import android.widget.RemoteViews;
import android.widget.Toast;

public class MainActivity extends AppWidgetProvider{
public void onUpdate(Context context, AppWidgetManager appWidgetManager,int[] appWidgetIds) {
for(int i=0; i < appWidgetIds.length; i++){
int currentWidgetId = appWidgetIds[i];
String url = "http://android.suvenconsultants.com/";

Intent intent = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_VIEW);
intent.addFlags(Intent.FLAG_ACTIVITY_NEW_TASK);
intent.setData(Uri.parse(url));

PendingIntent pending = PendingIntent.getActivity(context, 0,intent, 0);
RemoteViews views = new RemoteViews(context.getPackageName(),R.layout.activity_main);

views.setOnClickPendingIntent(R.id.button, pending);
appWidgetManager.updateAppWidget(currentWidgetId,views);
Toast.makeText(context, "widget added", Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();
}
}
}

Content of the activity_main.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<RelativeLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
xmlns:tools="http://schemas.android.com/tools" android:layout_width="match_parent"
android:layout_height="match_parent" android:paddingLeft="@dimen/activity_horizontal_margin"
android:paddingRight="@dimen/activity_horizontal_margin"
android:paddingTop="@dimen/activity_vertical_margin"
android:paddingBottom="@dimen/activity_vertical_margin"
tools:context=".MainActivity"
android:transitionGroup="true">

<TextView
android:layout_width="wrap_content"
android:layout_height="wrap_content"
android:text="SCTPL"
android:id="@+id/textView"
android:layout_centerHorizontal="true"
android:textColor="#ff3412ff"
android:textSize="35dp" />

<Button
android:layout_width="wrap_content"
android:layout_height="wrap_content"
android:text="Visit SCTPL"
android:id="@+id/button"
android:layout_centerHorizontal="true"
android:layout_marginTop="61dp"
android:layout_below="@+id/textView" />

</RelativeLayout>

Content of the AndroidManifest.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<manifest xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
package="net.suven.android.androidwidget" >

<application
android:allowBackup="true"
android:icon="@mipmap/ic_launcher"
android:label="@string/app_name"
android:theme="@style/AppTheme" >
<receiver android:name=".MainActivity">

<intent-filter>
<action android:name="android.appwidget.action.APPWIDGET_UPDATE"></action>
</intent-filter>

<meta-data android:name="android.appwidget.provider"
android:resource="@xml/widget"></meta-data>

</receiver>

</application>
</manifest>

content of the res/xml/widget.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<appwidget-provider
xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
android:minWidth="146dp"
android:updatePeriodMillis="0"
android:minHeight="146dp"
android:initialLayout="@layout/activity_main">
</appwidget-provider>
Install App and Go to your widget section and add your created widget to the desktop or home screen.

Android widget application output
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