This week’s mobile news features updates on the much-anticipated Android Nougat, as well as the LG V20 and Apple’s new Snapchat-inspired app. We also discuss how Google is trying to save you storage space on your device and how soon we can expect to see extended battery life on our phones – so, let’s get started!
Android Nougat is here!
The latest Google operating system for Android devices is finally rolling out, but when you’ll get your hands on this update is dependent on your handset. If you have a Nexus 6P, 6, 5X, 9, Google Pixel C, Nexus Player or Android One device, you’ll soon be able to enjoy the treats of Android Nougat. As always, Nexus models take priority with the new update, but the new OS will be available for the likes of Sony Xperia phones and tablets in due course.
Android Nougat features a host of new features, such as split screen functionality and multitasking support. This means you’ll be able to open two apps simultaneously on the screen – if you’ve ever wanted to keep watching a YouTube video while texting your friends back, it’s now possible! Speaking of texting your friends, Android Nougat also lets you reply to messages without navigating away for your current window – something which Apple introduced with iOS 8. There’s also a new quick settings menu, which you can find by pulling it down from the top of the screen, as well as bundled notifications that groups all messages together for specific apps.
Apple developing its own Snapchat
There’s no denying that Snapchat has grown to become one of the most popular apps across the globe, so it comes as no surprise that Apple wants a piece of the action. The company is said to be developing their very own video sharing and editing app to rival Snapchat and take advantage of our obsession with social media.
The new app will feature the same sort of tools as Snapchat, with a variety of fun filters and the ability to draw on videos, but it will go a step further and allow us to instantly share our creations on social media. Apple is said to be creating the app with ‘one-hand usage’ in mind, meaning everything can be done speedily with just one hand. It’s likely we’ll see the new app launched in 2017, but with the iPhone 7 just around the corner, it may well feature a surprise.
Google reducing image sizes to save space
How many of us run out of storage on our smartphones every other week? If you’ve only got a mere 16GB to work with – or worse, 8GB – then storage space is precious on your device, which is why Google is working on a way to reduce the size of images we can’t bear to part with on our phones. To do so, the company is working on compressing six million randomly selected images into a neural network.
But, what does that mean? Essentially, Google is trialling breaking down images into binary code and reconstructing them to make them smaller, without losing any quality. If the research proves to be successful, this could lead to saving valuable space on our smartphones, especially as Google offers free online photo storage. As it is still early doors, we will have to wait and see how the research pans out.
LG V20 to feature B&O PLAY headphones
The days of throwing away the headphones that come with your new phone are most definitely over, as demonstrated by LG’s new flagship device, the LG V20, which is set to come with a pair of B&O PLAY headphones. LG’s new handset is due to be released in September and the collaboration with B&O is undoubtedly a bonus, especially for keen audiophiles out there. As our phones are the primary method of listening to music on the go these days, it’s a wise move from LG to invest in audio as a major selling point of the LG V20.
Extended smartphone battery life is almost here
A brand new battery technology that may be able to double the battery life of your smartphone may be available as soon as next year – finally! Students who created a start-up called SolidEnergy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have invented a new type of lithium metal battery that allows for twice the charge. After thorough testing, the technology is said to almost be ready for testing in electric cars, smartphones and other portable devices, such as drones. The battery works by switching graphite, typically found in your standard batteries, for extremely thin lithium metal foil, which also makes the battery smaller and capable of holding more ions than normal cells.
SolidEnergy debuted their idea back in October 2015 and have since received over $12 million from investors to see it to fruition. It is expected to be introduced commercially for smartphones and wearables by early 2017, and then electric cars by 2018. Whether manufacturers choose to embrace this new technology will be another issue, but it makes sense for them to cater to what the public wants – and has wanted for some time!
That’s all for this week’s mobile news – be sure to join us again next week for all the latest updates from Tesco Mobile.