Posts From Steven Zimmerman

Steven Zimmerman
52 posts

Steven grew up wishing he could take the internet everywhere with him. His first smartphone was an HTC Legend, and he's been tinkering and playing with Android ever since. With a background in accounting, he strives to bring a unique perspective to the tech journalism world.

Google Launches Cloud Firestore: App Focused NoSQL Database

The Firebase platform is one of the key tools in Google's Android ecosystem, and today Google is continuing their expansion of it with the launch of Google Cloud Firestore, a NoSQL document database for smartphones. Cloud Firestore allows you to synchronize your database in near-realtime, enabling reactive apps, cross-device syncing, and cross-device collaboration. But of course,...

AndroidTO 2017 Has Come To A Close: Check Out The Excellent Developer Talks On YouTube!

This year’s AndroidTO conference has just come to a close, and for the first time the XDA Portal was able to attend in person! AndroidTO is the largest and longest running Android conference in Canada, with 8 years of conferences to date. The conference is hosted by Symbility Intersect at the MaRS Discovery District in...

iOS 11 and Android Spearhead Universal Support For Opus Audio Codec, MP3’s Overdue Successor

It has been 24 years since MP3 originally released, and despite many efforts by various groups over the years to replace it (with attempts such as Vorbis, AAC, WMA, and others), no one has succeeded yet, but that may be changing. Unlike with video codecs, people are no longer directly searching for a royalty free...

Xiaomi Joins the Android One Program in India with the new Xiaomi Mi A1

Earlier today at a launch event in New Delhi, Xiaomi announced that they will be joining the Android One program with the launch of the Xiaomi Mi A1. While the phone was only announced today and has seen surprisingly few leaks, Xiaomi has managed to ensure a short gap between the announcement and the release, with the...

Qualcomm Spectra 2nd Generation Announced for 2018 Phone Cameras – Better Noise Reduction & EIS, Iris Scanning, AR

One of the most important features of a smartphone for many users is the camera, and the brain of those cameras is the Image Signal Processor (ISP). The ISP plays a critical role in image quality, autofocus speed, and almost every part of camera performance. Today, Qualcomm is announcing their next leap forward in the...

HTC 10 and HTC One A9 Android 7.0 Nougat Kernel Source Code Released

HTC just announced that they have published the Android 7.0 kernel source code for the HTC 10 and the HTC One A9. These newly published sets of kernel source code will go a long way towards helping with the development of Android 7.0, AOSP-based custom ROMs for these devices. Although it is always nice to see kernel...

Microsoft Announces Windows Bug Bounty Program and Extension of Hyper-V Bounty Program

The Microsoft Security Response Center Team (MSRC) announced today that they will be launching a new targeted Windows Bug Bounty program (aptly named the "Windows Bounty Program"), in the hopes of catching vulnerabilities before they can reach the black market. The addition of a Windows Bug Bounty program comes as part of a comprehensive effort by...

Xiaomi Launches MIUI 9: Image Search, Smart Assistant, Smart App Launcher, and Performance Enhancements

At an event in China today, Xiaomi launched the highly anticipated latest version of their ROM, MIUI 9. Xiaomi has been teasing MIUI 9 for a couple weeks now with hints and previews, so it is nice to finally get a look at the release version. MIUI 9 brings a new Android version to some devices,...

USB 3.2 Doubles Data Speeds: 20 Gbps Using Multi-Lane Operation

The USB-IF and the USB 3.0 Promoter Group have announced USB 3.2, which will be fully unveiled at USB Developer Days 2017 in September. USB 3.2 brings support for multi-lane USB operation, in order to provide USB data transfer speeds of up to 20 Gbps (2.5 GB/s) over a USB Type-C cable. It comes as no...

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 XDA Review: A Capable Flagship and a Solid First Step Onto the World Stage

Xiaomi’s worldwide launch has been heralded for years, and with the Xiaomi Mi Note 2 it looks like the final pieces are falling into place. As Xiaomi’s first flagship phone to offer a model with worldwide frequency band support, the Mi Note 2 offers an exciting look into what we can expect from Xiaomi as...

Opus 1.2 Codec Arrives on Your Phone: High Quality Audio at 32 kbps

The Xiph.Org Foundation just announced their latest improvement to the Opus audio codec with the release of their libopus 1.2 encoder. With this latest improvement, Xiph.Org has managed to make Opus usable for fullband stereo audio at just 32 kb/s, which will pair well with the upcoming royalty-free AV1 video format in the WebM container...

Google’s Royalty-Free Answer to HEVC: A Look at AV1 and the Future of Video Codecs

Almost 5 years ago Google first released VP9, the royalty free video codec that aimed to replace H.264 as the primary codec for online streaming and media consumption. While VP9 was not completely successful in that task, it has laid the foundation for Google’s next generation codec, AOMedia Video 1 (AV1), which is looking extremely...