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Android

Android, Android on Desktops (Android-x86), Samsung Galaxy on Desktop/DeX

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  • Pixel 2 Has Screen Burn-In Problem, Google Says They’re “Actively Investigating” The Report

    Android Central has reported that their Pixel 2 XL review unit is having screen burn-in issues. That’s a bad thing for the latest made-by-Google flagship which was announced earlier on October 4, ditching the headphone jack.

  • Android-x86 7.1-rc2 Now Supports NVMe SSDs, Better QEMU VirGL

    The Android-x86 project derived from Google's Android Open-Source Project code-base remains officially at Android 6.0, but there is an Android 7.1 "Nougat" build available for testing.

    Quietly released earlier this month was a second release candidate based on Android 7.1. The Android-x86 7.1-RC2 release is based on upstream AOSP 7.1-RC2 / Nougat-MR2 along with some extra improvements for this x86-targeted build.

  • What To Do When The Power Button Of Your Android Phone Is Broken?
  • Samsung is adding Linux support for DeX with the new ‘Linux on Galaxy’ app

    Since Samsung debuted the DeX feature earlier this year with the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ smartphones, the company has been making small changes to improve the whole experience of using your smartphone as a PC. In order to further enhance Samsung DeX, the company has announced “Linux on Galaxy”, an app that will let developers run Linux-based distributions on their mobile device, allowing them to code on-the-go. The app is DeX-enabled, which means developers can code on a bigger device, powered by their Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ or Galaxy Note8.

  • You can run any Linux distro on Samsung smartphones using Linux with Galaxy App

    The convergence of a smartphone with a PC/laptop is not new and has been in making for several years. In fact, the idea of such a convergence started with Nokia’s Communicator phone launched in 1996 when it was the undisputed king of feature phone and mobile phone arena.

    Ubuntu devs tried a similar theme with the now-dead Ubuntu for smartphones and tablets. The Ubuntu os was launched with the idea to run full Linux apps on your smartphone. The smartphone even gave users an option to connect a keyboard, mouse, and display. However, that did not sell.

Running Android on Top of a Linux Graphics Stack

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Android
Linux
Interviews

Traditional Linux graphics systems (like X11) mostly did not use planes. But modern graphics systems like Android and Wayland can take full advantage of it.

Android has the most mature implementation of plane support in HWComposer, and its graphics stack is a bit different from the usual Linux desktop graphics stack. On desktops, the typical compositor just uses the GPU for all composition, because this is the only thing that exists on the desktop.

Most embedded and mobile chips have specialized 2D composition hardware that Android is designed around. The way this is done is by dividing the things that are displayed into layers, and then intelligently feeding the layers to hardware that is optimized to handle layers. This frees up the GPU to work on the things you actually care about, while at the same time, it lets hardware that is more efficient do what it does best.

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Motorola Moto X4 Android One review: a Nexus by any other name

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Android
Reviews

That’s been a tough pill for many fans of the prior Nexus phones to swallow, as they frequently offered a lot of specs and performance for a lot less money than other smartphones. You could realistically get a great Nexus phone for under $500 without having to give up the traits that make them great: clean software, fast performance, and timely updates.

Enter Motorola’s new Moto X4 Android One smartphone. While not technically a Nexus phone, it shares many of the same qualities that made the Nexus line so loved. Clean build of Android? Check. Promise of fast updates and years of software support? Check. Reasonable cost? Check.

The $399 X4 won’t appeal to everyone. It’s not meant to compete with the Pixel or other premium phone in terms of features or performance, and its biggest limitation is that it’s only available on Google’s own Project Fi network. (Though it comes unlocked and works with other networks, the only way to buy this flavor of X4 is to be a Fi customer.) But if you’ve been holding on to that aging Nexus 5X hoping something would come along and pick up its mantle, the Moto X4 Android One version is it.

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Android: New Devices

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Android
  • ZTE launches crazy, foldable, dual-screened smartphone

    Budget Android company ZTE is launching what has to be its craziest-looking smartphone ever, the Axon M. The M looks like someone took a Nintendo DS, removed the controls, and stuck two big smartphone screens on each side.

    The Axon M is a whopping 12.1mm thick. A hinge runs along the long side of the phone, and it opens up, just like a Nintendo DS. On each side of the phone, you get a 5.2-inch, 1080p TFT LCD. Open the whole thing up, and when combined the screens sort of become a 6.75-inch, 8:9 aspect ratio, 1920x2160 display. I say "sort of" because of course there's a big seam down the middle.

  • Google's Pixel 2 Earns High Marks in Spite of Dull Design

    As Google's new Pixel 2 smartphones get ready to hit the shelves, reviews of the models have begun mushrooming online.

    While the new phones generally have received positive grades, many reviewers found the their design boring.

    "The Pixel 2 hardware is ho-hum," observed Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy.

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  • Surprise! The Pixel 2 is hiding a custom Google SoC for image processing
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Graphics: Mesa 17.2.6 RC, AMDGPU, and Vulkan

  • Mesa 17.2.6 release candidate
  • Mesa 17.2.6 RC Arrives With 50+ Fixes
    While Mesa 17.3 is imminent and should be released as stable within the next few days, Mesa 17.2.6 is being prepped for release as the current point release.
  • 43 More AMDGPU DC Patches Hit The Streets
    While the massive AMDGPU DC infrastructure has been merged for Linux 4.15, the flow of improvements to this display code continues and it looks like the next few kernel cycles at least could be quite busy on the AMD front.
  • A Prototype Of The Vulkan Portability Initiative: Low-Level 3D To Vulkan / D3D12 / Metal
    A Mozilla engineer has put out a prototype library in working on the Vulkan Portability Initiative for allowing low-level 3D graphics support that's backed by Vulkan / Direct3D 12 / Metal. With Apple sticking to their own Metal graphics API and Direct3D 12 still being the dominant graphics API on Windows 10, The Khronos Group has been working towards better 3D portability for where Vulkan may not be directly supported by the OS/drivers or otherwise available. They've been working to target a subset of the Vulkan API that can be efficiently mapped to these other native graphics APIs and to have the libraries and tooling for better compatibility and code re-use of these different graphics APIs.

Kernel: Linux 4.15, TLDR, and Linus Torvalds' Latest Rant

  • Linux 4.15 Adds AMD Raven Ridge Audio ID
    Not only is AMD Stoney Ridge audio (finally) being supported by the Linux 4.15 kernel, but it also looks like Raven Ridge audio should now be working too.
  • Linux 4.14.2 Fixes The BCache Corruption Bug
    Normally I don't bother mentioning new Linux kernel point releases on Phoronix unless there are some significant changes, as is the case today with Linux 4.14.2.
  • TLDR is what Linux man pages always should have been
    If you get stuck using a Linux tool, the first port of call shouldn’t be to Stack Overflow, but rather its “man pages.” Man — which is short for manual — retrieves documentation for a given program. Unfortunately, this can often be dense, hard to understand, and lacking in practical examples to help you solve your problem. TLDR is another way of looking at documentation. Rather than being a comprehensive guide to a given tool, it instead focuses on offering practical example-driven instructions of how something works.
  • Linux creator Linus Torvalds: This is what drives me nuts about IT security
    Developers are often accused of not thinking about security, but Linux kernel founder Linus Torvalds has had enough of security people who don't think about developers and end-users. After blasting some kernel developers last week for killing processes in the name of hardening the kernel, Torvalds has offered a more measured explanation for his frustration with security myopia. While he agrees that having multiple layers of security in the kernel is a good idea, certain ways of implementing it are not, in particular if it annoys users and developers by killing processes that break users' machines and wreck core kernel code. Because ultimately, if there are no users, there's not much point in having a supremely secure kernel, Torvalds contends.

Unity 7 Hoping To Become An Official Flavor For Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

While Canonical abandoned their work on the Unity desktop environment in favor of the Unity-inspired customized GNOME Shell that debuted in Ubuntu 17.10, some within the community have remained interested in maintaining Unity 7 and even getting it into an official spin/flavor of Ubuntu. Posted today to the community.ubuntu.com was a Unity maintenance roadmap, reiterating the hope by some in the Ubuntu community for Ubuntu Unity to become an official LTS distribution of Ubuntu. They are hoping to make it an official flavor alongside Kubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, Xubuntu, and others. Read more Original/direct: Unity Maintenance Roadmap

Programming/Development: Django and Google India

  • An introduction to the Django ORM
    One of the most powerful features of Django is its Object-Relational Mapper (ORM), which enables you to interact with your database, like you would with SQL. In fact, Django's ORM is just a pythonical way to create SQL to query and manipulate your database and get results in a pythonic fashion. Well, I say just a way, but it's actually really clever engineering that takes advantage of some of the more complex parts of Python to make developers' lives easier.
  • Hey, Coders! Google India Is Offering 130,000 Free Developer Scholarships — Here’s How To Apply
  • Google to prepare 1.3 lakh Indians for emerging technologies

    "The new scholarship programme is in tandem with Google's aim to train two million developers in India. The country is the second largest developer ecosystem in the world and is bound to overtake the US by 2021," William Florance, Developer Products Group and Skilling Lead for India, Google, told reporters here.