Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Starts Receiving Android 7.0 Nougat Update With MIUI 8.5.4.0

Xiaomi has started rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat update to Redmi Note 4 users, including those in India. The update arrives via OTA, and not all users seem to have received it yet. The roll out seems to be in phases, and therefore not all users will get it immediately. Interestingly, the Android 7.0 Nougat update is not based on MIUI 9.

Gadgets 360 can confirm that users in India are receiving the Android 7.0 Nougat update based on MIUI version 8.5.4.0. The update, sized at 1.3GB, also brings along the July Android security patch with it. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is scheduled to get the MIUI 9 update as well, and the rollout of the (China Developer ROM) is scheduled to begin on Friday, August 11.

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MIUI 9 is also based on Android 7.0 Nougat, and apart from Nougat features like split screen, it boasts of faster app launch times, a more dynamic resource allocation for a fluid experience, and other smart features and improvements.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 price, specifications

The Redmi Note 4 was launched in India earlier in the year in three variants – the 2GB RAM/ 32GB inbuilt storage model has been priced at Rs. 9,999, the 3GB RAM/ 32GB storage model has been priced at Rs. 10,999, while the 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage model has been priced at Rs. 12,999.

The dual-SIM (Micro+Nano) Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 runs MIUI 8 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box, and sports a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) 2.5D curved glass IPS display with a 401ppi pixel density. Powered by the Snapdragon 625 SoC, it comes with 3GB and 4GB of RAM, depending on the SKU.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4’s rear camera bears a 13-megapixel CMOS sensor equipped with PDAF (phase detection autofocus), an f/2.0 aperture, 77-degree wide angle lens, and dual-tone LED flash. The front camera sports a 5-megapixel CMOS sensor, coupled with an 85-degree wide angle lens. Expandable storage is available on the Redmi Note 4 via a hybrid dual-SIM card configuration, supporting microSD cards (up 128GB).

As for connectivity, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 offers 4G with VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/g/b/n, Bluetooth v4.1, GPS, Micro-USB, and Infrared. The smartphone’s battery capacity is rated at 4100mAh battery, and the new Xiaomi smartphone measures 151x76x8.35mm, and weighs 175 grams.

Android O Name, Final Build Will Be Released on August 21: Reports

Just like this time last year, the next version of Android, Android O, is in its developer preview phase and the final build is set to release soon. Now, two reliable sources claim that the new Android version is going to be rolled out on August 21. While the tip claims that Google Pixel devices will get the Android O update on August 21, other compatible devices should also get it on the same day, or soon after.

Android Police’s David Ruddock and tipster extraordinaire Evan Blass both claim that the Android O update will be released on August 21. Blass claims that the Android O release is scheduled for the week of August 21, “most likely on 21st itself”. Ruddock, on the other hand, tips that the Pixel devices are scheduled to receive Android O on August 21, not clarifying whether the other compatible devices will receive it alongside. Ruddock also claims that the name of Android O will also be released on the same day as the upcoming solar eclipse i.e., August 21. If true, this means that the name reveal, and the release of the final build will happen on the same day.

Android O Name, Final Build Will Be Released on August 21: ReportsThe other Google devices that have been receiving the Android O developer preview releases include the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, and Pixel C. These devices will also get the Android O update, but the scheduled release date is still a mystery. As for the Android O name, a few predictions have been floating around.

For now, Android O is in developer preview 4 stage, the last build before the final build releases. It is a release candidate build of Android O that developers can use to complete development and testing of apps in time for the upcoming official release. It includes the final system behaviours, the latest bug fixes and optimisations, and the final APIs (API level 26) that app makers can use to test their apps, so that they can be ready as soon as the stable Android 8.0 version drops.

If you have a compatible device, then you can register for the Android Beta Program here to use the preview version, and get the Android O stable version when it releases. Alternatively, you can sideload OTA files, or manually flash system images as well. Remember, installing a system image on a device removes all data from the device, so you should back up your data first. Also, you won’t receive the final Android O build unless you are enrolled in the Android Beta Program.

WhatsApp Photo Filters Get Tested on Android App

WhatsApp has been adding many new features for users, especially related to media sharing. One of the most notable features includes photo filters that iPhone users have been playing with around since June. However, Android users are yet to receive this feature, and now it has been spotted in beta briefly, hinting at its imminent arrival.

Android Police reports that the photo filter feature was spotted in WhatsApp Android beta version 2.17.297, but was removed in the follow-up version 2.17.298. However, a tipster named Moshe E shared images of the feature working on the Android beta app.

WhatsApp Photo Filters Get Tested on Android AppIn beta mode, the feature worked in the similar manner as it does on the iPhone. Users will have to head to WhatsApp, go to the individual or group chat that you want to send the media to, capture or select a photo, video, or GIF, and swipe up. Swiping up will pull out five photo filters that you can choose from. These are Pop, B&W, Cool, Film, and Chrome, but we expect WhatsApp to add more in the future, especially once it hits the stable version of Android as well.

This feature is not seen in the latest version of WhatsApp beta, so prepare to be disappointed. However, the feature has been on the iOS app since two months, and it should arrive for Android users soon, so hold tight. If you can’t wait to try this photo filter feature out, download the APK Mirror for WhatsApp Android version 2.17.297, and stop the app from auto updating on Google Play.

Russia added to list of countries where Android Pay is available

Today Google announced Russia has become the 11th country where Android Pay is available for use. In their announcement, Google goes over all of the basics about Android Pay including things like how to use it with your device via NFC at a physical retailer or using the Android Pay button with online retailers. Like other countries, Android Pay also requires a participating bank for the source of funds and merchants need a participating payment processor. Like other countries, users can also add their loyalty cards to the app for easy access.

The list of merchants accepting Android Pay in Russia includes many places that might be familiar to U.S. users, like BP, Burger King, KFC, McDonald’s or Starbucks. Other more country specific retailers include Magnit, Perekstok and Rosneft.

Like physical retailers, some apps will make Android Pay available as an option including Uber, Delivery Club, Lamoda, or Rambler-Kassa. Some of the banks that are participating include AK BARS, B&N Bank, Otkritie, Promsvyazbank, Russian Standard Bank, and Tochka. With the improvements Google has been making to the Android Pay platform, some customers with banks like Raiffeisen Bank do not need to re-key their card info – they can just look for the option to “Add to Android Pay” from within the bank’s specific app.

Russia becomes the 11th country where Android Pay can be used, joining the U.S., the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Poland, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, Japan, and Belgium. Before the end of the year it is expected that South Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, Canada and Spain will join the list.

LeEco layoffs affect 325 employees, pauses U.S. expansion amid financial crisis

It could be months before we see what’s next for LeEco. It might even be 2018 by the time we see anything new. With its cash spent and little revenue coming in, the company announced today its expansion in the United States is on hold indefinitely. Hundreds of employees have been laid off while the entire pipeline of products is frozen until financing for the future can be secured.

The speculation is over, and now we’re aware that things at the Chinese company are as bad as expected. LeEco confirmed yesterday’s CNBC report that layoffs were planned. It has decided to release 325 U.S.-based employees. A statement made public by the company says LeEco is experiencing “a significant restructuring and streamlining of our business, operations and workforce.” That’s the polite way of saying layoffs occurred.

Because of high costs between talent and products, LeEco will wait to release anything until “the appropriate level of funding” is obtained.

LeEco admitted its U.S. expansion happened way too quickly and with a misunderstanding of the market. Rather than entering slowly and building a group of products over time, it released everything at once. Phones, accessories, and televisions were all introduced in Fall 2016. On top of that, the Le Pro 3 and Le S3 weren’t very unique devices in a saturated market.Financial woes become known in a Bloomberg report published just weeks after the big U.S. debut in San Francisco. It became clear everyone within LeEco was aware expansion happened way too fast, leaving the company with no choice but to slash costs in any way possible. A small round of layoffs happened while CEO Jia Yueting cut his own salary.

When phones and televisions weren’t selling well, LeEco began negotiating a $1.4 billion investment deal that ultimately fell through. It was forced to sell a piece of land, which would’ve been its U.S. headquarters in Silicon Valley, for $260 million to keep the business going. And, just last month, the Vizio acquisition was dropped due to “regulatory headwinds.” Many believe LeEco opted to not buy the television maker because it didn’t have the money anymore.

EcoPass, the subscription for exclusive video streaming content, was canceled last month after directing owners of LeEco phones and televisions to DirecTV Now.

All of the struggles we mentioned contributed to today’s announcement from LeEco.

Here’s a part of the statement:

“Our goal is to continue to gain momentum. In the past few months, we have gained a large foothold in Chinese-speaking households in the U.S. by offering tailor-made products and content for this community. We believe this provides us an opportunity to build on our strengths and grow from there.”

Simply put: LeEco ran out of cash. When that happens, you have to cut your workforce and reevaluate the future; therefore, everything at LeEco has been paused indefinitely. In the coming weeks and months, LeEco will shop around for an investment deal to refuel and target Chinese-speaking people in the U.S., a market that will probably still give the company problems.

Google’s Jamboard for group collaboration is now available for purchase

Google wants to help solve your collaboration issues, and they’re going to do with Jamboard, a gigantic whiteboard with a ton of cloud integration. It features a 55-inch screen that can be drawn and worked on, and its team-focused feature set makes it easy to sync things up for multiple people in a group.

This device is much more than a large touchscreen tablet thanks to some customer hardware and cloud features that you won’t find anywhere else. It uses a custom NVIDIA embedded computer to help make writing on the 4K screen incredibly responsive and integrates with Hangouts for collaborative efforts. You can write out and sketch up anything you want on the screen, all while keeping it synced to Google’s cloud services to quickly share with the rest of your team.

It’s a fancy piece of tech, but the price tag will certainly keep it in the workplace and not in your house. Jamboard comes in three colors (cobalt blue, carmine red and graphite grey) and will cost $4,999, with an optional $1,349 swivel stand. If you lock in an order before September 30th, they’ll knock $150 off the stand and cut the annual support fee in half, down to just $300. You’ll still need a G Suite plan to use Jamboard, too.

That’s not consumer-friendly pricing, but it’s not supposed to be. That’s roughly the price of a handful of good laptops, and for a business, that’s not an uncommon expense.

Facebook doubles down on live video with two new features

Facebook Live has been an incredibly popular part of the social media website since it was introduced, and Facebook has seen increased user engagement from it, too. To keep that popularity growing, they’ve announced two brand new features explicitly focused on live video broadcasts and chats.

First up is called Live Chat with friends, which does pretty much exactly what you’d expect it to do. On Facebook Live you can chat with all the other users that are currently watching a live broadcast, but now you can create a small private group to discuss a stream with a chosen group of friends. You can quickly jump back into the public chat if you want, but also continue chatting with your private group after the session ends.

The second feature is called Live With, and it allows you to invite friends and viewers directly into your live broadcast. If you’re broadcasting on Facebook Live, all you’ll have to do is select someone currently viewing your stream, then tap invite.This supports portrait mode, which uses a picture-in-picture layout, and landscape mode, which places both streamers side by side.

These features are rolling out soon, with Live Chat With Friends being first up later this summer, and Live With hitting iOS devices first with an Android release down the line.

[Deal] Amazon knocks $10 off the Echo Dot for a limited time

Today is the best day of the year for you to buy the Echo Dot from Amazon.

The online retailer currently has its smaller in-home digital assistant available for $40, which is $10 less than the everyday price. It’s a discount we haven’t seen since Black Friday 2016.

Like the Echo, the Echo Dot is always listening and ready to offer assistance through Alexa. The differences between the two come down to size. Its smaller build makes the speaker of the Echo Dot weaker than that of the Echo; therefore, Amazon says you should probably use an additional speaker with it. But, if you’re just using the Echo Dot in a bedroom, you’ll be fine going solo.

Trying to go all-in on Alexa-based products? A two-pack of Amazon’s new Echo Show is still available for $229.

It’s unclear when the discount will go away. We’ve seen 12:00PM ET and 11:59PM ET stated around the web by different publications. Because of the uncertainty, Talk Android recommends you head over to Amazon right now and place your order. The Echo Dot is one of the most capable in-home digital assistants with a price that’s as low as it gets.

Lenovo will “never phase out” its brand for phones despite Motorola’s comeback

Maintaining two brands in the same industry is tough. Lenovo, however, doesn’t seem to mind the challenge. It’ll continue selling phones with its own name while the Motorola brand makes a comeback.

Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing spoke to Reuters about changes going on within the business. After becoming profitable again in March, the executive revealed there are no plans to stop selling Lenovo-branded mobile devices. They’ll exist alongside Motorola-branded mobile devices and possibly in the same markets.

When asked about ditching the Lenovo brand, the executive gave this concise line:

“We will never phase out Lenovo.”

The decision to keep both brands is puzzling because the Motorola brand is well-known worldwide. Although damaged a few years ago, Google and Lenovo did a solid rebuilding. But, in 2016, Lenovo decided to drop “Motorola” and focus on “Moto” for about a year. Fortunately Lenovo opted to bring back Motorola this year. It looks like the company realized people are more familiar with the legacy brand than name attached to the devices.

Expect to see the Motorola brand pushed this summer when a new wave of devices become official.

Android co-founder Andy Rubin will introduce Essential’s first phone on May 30

The brain behind Android is about to introduce his first phone outside of Google.

Following a hype-filled tweet from Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt, Android co-founder Andy Rubin has finally shared when we’ll get to see his new company’s phone. Both he and his company have confirmed Essential will launch its first phone on Tuesday, May 30.

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We have yet to receive an invite for an event; therefore, it appears Essential will do a private, online-only launch for its debut.

The only known quality about this phone is its bezel-free display. Back in March, Rubin tweeted a teaser image showing a corner of the device. It gave us a look at the slim border as well as icons for network, battery, and time. Outside of the teaser image, it’s all a toss-up as to what you should expect.

It is, however, widely believed Essential is loaded with proper talent to compete with devices like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6.

High-ranking employees from Google, Apple, and HTC are confirmed to have left their previous positions for spots at Essential. With that in mind, we know we’re going to see a high-end phone released soon. Going by leaked specifications from April, Essential’s first phone should what you expect from a 2017 flagship. The leak showed a Quad HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, and 12MP rear camera among other things.

When the phone becomes official next week, Talk Android will let you know with full details.