Samsung’s Galaxy S8 plus
Source: Samsung’s Official Website
It can be a challenge choosing from a large selection of smartphones available today and trying to figure out the one that is best for you can be another big hassle. Your smartphone is most likely to be the most important gadget in your life, and you’ll probably be spending a few more years with the one you’ve purchased recently. Right now, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 Plus might be the best option for you as it has the best display on any smartphone right now, a head-turning premium design, top-of-the-line camera, reliable battery life and industry-leading performance.

Starting from a market standard price tag of $850, Samsung’s latest flagship offers an innovative new design for a smartphone by stripping away the bezels around its 6.2-inch infinity display. That massive 18.5:9 screen ratio enhances the entire viewing experience while retaining those pitch-perfect colors and sharpness we’ve come to expect from Samsung in recent times. It’s no surprise that even Apple is purchasing the screens for their new iPhone 8 from Samsung. Oh, and it’s bright, reaching a blinding 912cd/m2 on auto brightness.

The Samsung Galaxy S8+ features a powerful 1.9GHz octa-core Samsung Exynos 8895 processor backed by 4GB of RAM. The phone packs 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 256GB via micro SD card. As far as the cameras are concerned, the Samsung Galaxy S8+ packs a 12-megapixel primary camera and an 8-megapixel front shooter for super-sharp selfies. S8+’s camera app is one of the best available and the camera app features a new floating shutter button, whose location can be adjusted on the screen so that taking selfies and one-handed photos is much easier on its large display.

The Samsung Galaxy S8+ runs Android 7.0 and is powered by a 3500mAh non-removable battery. It measures 159.50 x 73.40 x 8.10 (height x width x thickness) and weigh 173.00 grams. The S8+ is water resistant to depths of 1.5m for 30 minutes with an IP68 rating, and Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5, which should hopefully make both front and back more scratch and shatter resistant.

It’s a stellar performer that aptly blends beauty and horsepower. Couple that with a surprisingly comfortable, narrow body and the Galaxy S8 Plus offers great longevity in a package that won’t make your hands sore. S8 Plus is still one of the most impressive packages you’ve ever seen. If you're looking for a well-balanced flagship with a great display and a camera then I'd say this one is worth looking into.

-Swastika Regmi

The latest installment of Android which is Android O or Oreo with the version number 8.0.0 has arrived on the Nexus 6P. The update procedure is quite simple. All you have to do is download the update file which appears on your notification. Once the download is complete, apply the update and the phone will restart and do the thing. The whole update procedure only takes a short time depending on your internet connection.

This update procedure is for the general public who prefer not to flash their device with the firmware. The update is sent straight from Google and you do not lose any files, user accounts, apps and their data. It's quite simple and here are the steps with screenshots.

First, you get this notification that a System Update is Available. Click on it and you end up with the following screen.
From the screen, you can figure out that the update size is 991.4 MB and you hit the Download button to begin the download. A progress bar will notify you of the progress.

After the download completes, you end up with this screen.
Obviously, you hit the Restart now to install.

The system prepares for the update. It takes a short amount of time.
After it is 100%, the phone restarts and you get the next screen. It's just doing its thing, copying files and all.
The phone will start after the update process completes. You go through the boot animation and you will already have Android Oreo.

You will see the screen above in the notifications. This is the final step.

After all the stages complete successfully, you will now enjoy the new Android in your Nexus 6P phone. New is always great right? Soon, there will be more posts related to Android O or Oreo on this blog.

For now, enjoy this short video where we discover an Octopus hiding behind your Android O installation.
In our quest to show you the different ways to install Android in your personal computer, we have come across this quick but rather old emulator for Android. The emulator is titled Windroy and it is free but the development seems to have been discontinued as the official website seems to be down. However, the software can be downloaded from several locations. Here’s the top link to download Windroy. The app seems to be quite old so use with precaution.

To install this emulator from the link above, you are asked to log into the website softonic.com. Use your Google Plus or Facebook account for quick registration and login. After that, the installer file will download and it will be saved as windroy_20140113.exe in your default downloads folder. From the file name itself, we can tell that it is a rather old version from 2014.

Use the installer to install the emulator like any other program in your system. Once the slider shows that the installation is complete, run the newly installed program from your start menu. Again, you will have to register in Windroy and provide your name and email. Use a secondary email and contact information if you are nervous about privacy and receiving spam. After the registration completes, it will open up the Android emulator in full screen.

Windroy Screenshot
Looking at the settings, you will find that it comes with Android 4.0.3 which is an old Android version. But it boots up quickly and runs faster when compared to the other bloatware infused emulators. This one has a minimum of those.

The saddest part about this dying emulator is that it doesn’t come with the Play Store. That means that you will have to look into alternatives to the Google Play Store. There are a ton of those out there. You can also install the applications by downloading apk files directly. Use the internal browser to install such external applications. But before you are allowed to install apps make sure that you enable the Unknown Sources option accessible from Settings > Personal > Security.

After that, I would search for the ‘application name apk’ to find any app using the in-built browser. For example: whatsapp.apk, f-droid.apk. Be wary of the fact that such apk files are not always secure.
You will be able to run most Android applications in Windows using this emulator. The layout is a bit old as it comes with Android Ice Cream Sandwich. You can install launchers to give it a modern look. The app support is average as you might run into errors with modern applications.

Overall, Windroy is not the greatest emulator. The only advantage that it has is that it is fast and doesn’t have bloatware and ads or eat up your system resources. But there are many drawbacks like the fact that it comes with the old Android 4.0.3, no Play Store, and no support or upgrades in the way (it has already been discontinued by the developer, it seems). Use it with precaution as old software aren’t secure. There are many alternatives to it out there.
If you are looking to access media files (audio and video) stored on your Android phone from your computer, then you can use an app on your smartphone (BubbleUPnP) and a simple yet popular media player (VLC) on your computer. BubbleUPnP will broadcast your music files using UPnP protocol and VLC’s Local Network feature will access the stream via Universal Plug'n'Play.

Detailed Instructions

Software or App Required

  • Install BubbleUPnP for DLNA/Chromecast on your Android device: It has a lot of features like accessing media from UPnP/DLNA servers, local storage on your phone, cloud storage like Google Drive, music providers like Tidal and Google Music. It also has the capability to broadcast using UPnP/DLNA protocols.
  • Install VLC Media Player on your computer: One of the most popular desktop and laptop media players that is also available for smartphones. It does a lot more than just play media but we’re going to access media from your phone using VLC’s inbuilt UPnP stream feature.
Now, that you have those installed, it’s an easy piece to access media stored on your phone from your laptop using VLC. First of all, run BubbleUPnP on your phone. Give it permission to access your locally stored media.

Switch to your laptop. Open VLC and now, all you have to do is navigate to View > Playlists in VLC. There, under Local Network click on Universal Plug'n'Play.

Access Media on Your Android Phone with BubbleUPnP and VLC
In a couple of seconds, you will see BubbleUPnP Media Server listed there along with the name of your phone. It takes a while for VLC to discover and list all the media that are present in your phone. So, wait a few minutes and you will see folders and sub-folders listed there. They group your music and video according to where they are stored and even streaming media servers like Google Music is listed. Browse through it and double click to play instantly. You can also add and create playlists.

Now, BubbleUPnP is one of the several apps that are available in the Play Store for UPnP/DLNA streaming. The other popular and free ones are:

If you are trying to integrate admob advertisements, then it is wise to test it first. During development, it is recommended that you avoid false ad impressions as well as clicks. For that purpose, it is widely suggested that you just use test advertisements which displays a placeholder instead of a live advertisement. To get such test ads, you need to pass your hashed device ID to to AdRequest.Builder.addTestDevice().

Here is an example of how the code looks like:

AdRequest request = new AdRequest.Builder()

You need to find the unique hashed device id to add it to your code. The simplest way to find it in Android Studio is to look at the logcat in Android Monitor.

Here are the steps:
  • Connect your test device with drivers installed, Developer Options and USB debugging enabled.
  • In the bottom of Android Studio, click on Android Monitor and make sure the tab logcat is active.
  • You will see a lot of messages. Type addTestDevice in the search field to filter the text.
  • You will find your unique hashed device id in the results.
Finding Hashed Device Code

If you cannot find it using the logcat then you can use an app that displays the same device id.

Finding Hashed Code for your Device
Here is the link to the application in Google’s Play Store.

I hope that helps you out in testing your advertisements and monetizing your application.
One of the eye-catching features that have been added to the newly released Android Nougat is the multi-locale feature. It makes it simple to switch between multiple languages and input methods. This is useful if you have to write in multiple scripts. You can switch the keyboards by pressing the keys on the on-screen keyboard itself and without venturing into the settings every time. You can just set the definite set of languages and keyboards, and switching is just pressing a button. As an example, it means you can switch between English, Japanese, and Mandarin from the keyboard app itself.
Here are the detailed steps to use the multi-locale feature in Android Nougat:
  • Go to Android Settings.
  • Tap on Languages & input under the heading Personal.
  • Tap on Languages.
  • Use the Add a language feature and select an extra language of your choice.
    Adding a New Language
  • When the on-screen keyboard pops up, tap on the globe key or long press the spacebar key to switch between multiple languages that you selected.
Switching Between Keyboards
It is as simple as that. You can now be able to switch the input method between several languages that you selected right from the on-screen keyboard. No more navigating to the settings or installing extra keyboard apps and circulating between them every time you have to change a language. It saves a lot of time for us, multilingual people.

To remove an input method: Go to the same Add a language setting and then tap on the three dots option key and then on the Remove option. It allows you to check and delete multiple languages and input methods at the same time.
Accessibility options in Android allows us to make different changes to the sizes, colors and formatting of the text and items displayed on the screen. For example you can invert the display colors and get a dark theme instead. Previously, the accessibility options allowed us to change the size of text only but in the fresh new Android Nougat, you can also change the dimensions of other on-screen items like images, graphics, message boxes etc. So not only can you increase and decrease the text size but you can also make the items on your screen smaller or larger.

Here are the steps to get to the accessibility options and change some sizes:
  • Go to Android Settings.
  • Tap on Accessibility present in the bottom under System.
Note: The same options are also available in Settings home > Device > Display with the same labels.
You will find many options but take a look at these two:
  1. Font size: Make the text on screen smaller or larger. Switch between Small, Default, Large and Largest. You will also get a live preview.
  2. Display size: Make the items on your screen smaller or larger. Switch between Small, Default, Large, Larger, Largest. The live preview shows how your messaging app looks like.
Font size and Display size
Another important accessibility setting related to on-screen displays is available on the same screen as Magnification gesture. When you turn it on by tapping and moving the slider to the right, you can use shortcuts to zoom what you see on the screen. You can zoom in on any area of the screen. Just tap on the screen 3 times.

Magnification Gesture
As mentioned on the screen, you can also temporarily zoom. Just tap three times while holding your finger on the screen on the third tap. After it zooms, you can drag your finger around to move and navigate through the area of the screen that is zoomed. If you stop touching the screen with your finger, the size changes back to normal as it zooms out automatically.
One of the cosmetic features introduced in Android Nougat is the ability to use different wallpaper for the home screen and the lock screen. Previously, the same image was used when the phone was locked and when you unlocked the phone. Now, you can assign different graphics as the background before the phone is locked and after you punch in that code to access your Android home.

This isn’t a major groundbreaking feature that has been added but it still is nice to be able to set different wallpapers on different screens. Just an eye-candy for many but for those who’d prefer some distinction, you now have the choice. It seems to be a feature added in the Google Now Launcher.
If you upgraded your Android Marshmallow to Nougat, then you will see the same graphic used in the backdrop. You will have to set a new one for the lock screen.

To set it:
  • Open a picture or graphic using your image browser, gallery or photo app.
  • In Google Photos: Press the options button or the three horizontal dots.
  • Tap on Use as and then on Wallpaper.
  • After dragging and deciding on the position, tap on Set wallpaper.
  • You will get to choose between “Home screen”, “Lock screen” and “Home screen and lock screen”.
Set Wallpaper in Android
Choose the appropriate option as you see fit. The setting to change the background is also available under Android Settings > Device > Display > Wallpaper > Google Now Launcher.

Changing Keyboard Themes

Speaking of cosmetic changes, if you use Google Keyboard and are bored of the same white layout, you can now change the colors so that you can add a bit more flavor to the keyboard app. It now has themes.

To access the option go to:

Android Settings > Personal > Languages & input > Virtual keyboard > Google keyboard > Theme

Set Keyboard Theme
In the Set Keyboard Theme screen, you can choose among various colors to suit your needs. There’s also an option to use your own image as a background for the keyboard. You can also set key borders if you want.
One of the new features in Android Nougat is the ability to input and save emergency information in your phone. This information can be accessed without unlocking the phone from the emergency dialer. You can save vital information like your name, address, blood type, allergies, medications, organ donor and medical notes. You can also store contacts so that they can be viewed directly.

To enter emergency information in Android Nougat:
  • Go to Android Settings.
  • Scroll down and under Device, tap on Users.
  • Tap on Emergency information.
You can enter the following fields in there:

Emergency information

Under Info
  • Name
  • Address
  • Blood Type
  • Allergies
  • Medications
  • Organ donor
  • Medical notes
Under Contacts

You can put in phone numbers and name from your contact list directly. Just press Add contact and then select someone. There can be more than one person on this list.

Accessing Emergency information

The point of entering the emergency information listed above is so that people can get it in case of a real emergency. So, say if your phone is locked with a security code or fingerprint and cannot be unlocked then still people can view it if they know where to look.
To access emergency information when the phone is locked:
  • Press the power button.
  • Drag your finger from bottom to top to bring up the emergency dialer.
  • Tap on the text that says Emergency.
  • Tap on the Emergency Information button twice.
Accessing Emergency Information
The information that you saved before shows up. Contact(s) is/are displayed on a separate tab but they cannot be dialed using the emergency dialer. There’s also an edit button but it requires you to unlock the phone first.
If you want to go under the hood and try some additional settings—more than what is available in the main Android’s settings menu—then there is System UI Tuner. It allows you to access some settings that haven’t been made mainstream by Google. You can tweak and customize the user interface which isn’t normally possible. But these are experimental features and can cause errors/crashes. They may disappear as well.
An example of a System UI Tuner Settings that made it to Android Nougat is editing quick setting tiles. Till Marshmallow it wasn’t available by default.

To Enable System UI Tuner

  • Pull down twice to access the Quick Setting menu from the top.
  • Tap and hold on the gear icon for a while and it will spin.
  • Let it go and you have successfully enabled System UI Tuner
You will be met with the following message:
Fun for some but not for all
System UI Tuner gives you extra ways to tweak and customize the Android user interface. These experimental features may change, break, or disappear in future releases. Proceed with caution.

Using System UI Tuner

Once turned on, you can access it anytime by going to: Android Settings > System > System UI Tuner.

System UI Tuner All Screenshots
  • Status bar: A list of items that you can display or hide in the status bar by using the slider next to them.
  • Do not disturb: Whether or not to show it with volume controls or use volume button shortcut.
  • Other: You can enable a special swipe-up gesture to turn on the split-screen feature.
  • Power notification controls: Once turned on, you can set 0 to 5 levels of notifications. These levels define in detail what is blocked and what is authorized.

To Disable System UI Tuner

If you no longer find any use for these special interface settings then you can:
  • Go to Android’s settings.
  • Scroll down to System and tap on System UI Tuner.
  • Tap on the three dots (options) and press Remove from Settings.
  • Confirm your action.