xda-developers https://www.xda-developers.com Android and Windows Phone Development Community Thu, 02 Dec 2021 11:24:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.2 Leaked Galaxy A73 renders reveal a familiar design and missing headphone jack https://www.xda-developers.com/leaked-galaxy-a73-renders-reveal-a-familiar-design-and-missing-headphone-jack/ https://www.xda-developers.com/leaked-galaxy-a73-renders-reveal-a-familiar-design-and-missing-headphone-jack/#respond Thu, 02 Dec 2021 10:24:16 +0000 https://www.xda-developers.com/?p=565455 Over the last few weeks, we have seen multiple leaks of the upcoming Galaxy A series phones. Early last month, we got an early look at the Galaxy A53 through leaked renders. Then a week later, leaked renders of the Galaxy A33 surfaced online, revealing its overall design and a few specifications. Now yet another

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Over the last few weeks, we have seen multiple leaks of the upcoming Galaxy A series phones. Early last month, we got an early look at the Galaxy A53 through leaked renders. Then a week later, leaked renders of the Galaxy A33 surfaced online, revealing its overall design and a few specifications. Now yet another Galaxy A series phone has leaked: the Galaxy A73.

OnLeaks and Zouton have published high-quality renders of the Galaxy A73, providing us a very first look at the Galaxy A72 successor. As far as design goes, the Galaxy A73 doesn’t look radically different from its predecessor.

As you can see in the images linked below, the phone features a rectangular camera module on the back and the centered hole-punch display on the front.

Galaxy A73 front and back Galaxy A73 display and back Galaxy A73 upside down

The power button and volume rocker keys sit on the right side of a plastic frame while the bottom houses a USB Type C port, speaker grille, and microphone. Similar to the Galaxy A53, the Galaxy A73 also seems to be doing away with the 3.5mm audio jack. The phone measures 163.8 x 76.0 x 7.6mm (9.3mm with the rear camera bump).

As per the leak, the Galaxy A73 features a flat 6.7-inch FHD+ display with 1080 x 2400 resolution. It will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 750G chipset, a step up from the Snapdragon 720G on the Galaxy A72. It will reportedly feature a 108MP main camera on the back, a 5,000mAh battery with 33W fast charging support, and up to 8GB RAM and 128GB storage.

According to Zouton, the Galaxy A73 may launch in India at the end of December with a starting price of ₹32,999. Samsung hasn’t officially confirmed anything about the phone.

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Experience Online Freedom with NordVPN https://www.xda-developers.com/experience-online-freedom-with-nordvpn/ Thu, 02 Dec 2021 10:00:47 +0000 https://www.xda-developers.com/?p=564193 Your home network is likely seeing a large influx of new devices added, every year around the Holidays. Each new device connected to your network is a new opportunity for security problems. The best way to keep every internet-connected device private and secure is to use a VPN that is compatible with a wide variety

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Your home network is likely seeing a large influx of new devices added, every year around the Holidays. Each new device connected to your network is a new opportunity for security problems. The best way to keep every internet-connected device private and secure is to use a VPN that is compatible with a wide variety of platforms. NordVPN has a huge array of security, location, and ad-block features that can vastly improve your internet browsing experience. Their wide range of compatibility makes this VPN the ultimate solution for all of your different devices. Don’t leave new Christmas electronics vulnerable. Check out all of the ways that NordVPN can improve your security.

Download NordVPN here

Fast and Stable Connections Everywhere

Without a doubt, one of the most important features that a VPN can offer is speed. All of the added security features mean nothing if you’re stuck with a slow connection. NordVPN understands this to an extent that it puts a lot of resources into creating fast connection options that prevent buffering or connection drops for your internet activity. A fast and stable connection is something you can expect with NordVPN.

Your connected devices will have access to 5,100 NordVPN servers in 60 different countries. With VPNs, the more connection options you have, the better. NordVPN is able to have enough servers that you’ll always have a fast connection option from your location. If you need to route your traffic through a specific country, you can do that to gain access to that country’s streaming selection and bypass restrictions.

 

If you are looking for a fast and secure VPN solution, look no further — it’s NordVPN. An independent IT security institute AV-TEST compared the speeds of the top VPNs in the industry. The result? NordVPN is the fastest VPN out there.

AVTEST

There are many different elements to take into consideration, that affect the speed of a VPN service. NordVPN focuses on these areas and implements improvements to provide a faster service:

  • Internet speed offered by your ISP
  • The quality of encryption
  • Distance to the VPN server
  • VPN server load
  • The security protocol being used
  • The firewalls or antivirus software used

Another way that NordVPN can help you maintain fast speeds, is by bypassing ISP throttling. Sometimes users will be throttled due to streaming a lot of content on Netflix or other services. NordVPN is able to bypass this, by hiding your internet traffic. Your ISP will no longer be aware that you’re streaming, and won’t be able to limit your speed to specific streaming websites.

Secure and Private with No-Logs Policy

If your main motivation to get a VPN is to further your privacy, it is very important to know what your VPN service does with your data. If your internet activity is logged, then you’re just a data breach away from a privacy disaster. NordVPN’s no-logs policy will ensure that this never happens. The company is committed to a practice that restricts any of your activity from being logged on their servers. By doing this, you’re protected from data leaks, hacks, or government prying. When the government comes around demanding to see your data, there will be nothing to show them.

 

Additionally, your ISP has the ability to track your internet usage and sell it to advertisers. A VPN prevents this from happening and puts you back in control of your data. If we know anything about major ISPs, we know that they are unethical and untrustworthy. Consistently finding them making deals with governments in the shadows, or fighting to destroy what privacy you have left. Remove your data from their control with NordVPN.

When it comes to encryption, NordVPN uses the best available to keep your connection secure. AES is an encryption standard used and approved worldwide by governments, cybersecurity experts, and cryptography enthusiasts. NordVPN uses AES with 256-bit keys, which is recommended by the NSA for securing classified information, including the top-secret level.

Block Ads and Malware

With a goal of improving your privacy and keeping your connections secure, you might as well block ads while you’re at it. As an optional feature, you can use NordVPN CyberSec to block known websites and trackers that push ads, malware, phishing hacks, and more. When you turn this feature on, you can browse the internet without clusters of ads destroying your experience. This works on Windows, iOS, macOS (OpenVPN only), and Linux. Use a VPN to block known ad trackers and stop the ads.

CyberSec a real-time block list of websites that are known for hosting malware, spyware, trackers, or other harmful software. So when our DNS server receives your request to enter a specific site, CyberSec quickly checks its address against the list of possible threats and decides whether to allow the access.

NordVPN

Secure Six Device on One Subscription

The number of devices that connect to the internet through your home network might be more than you think. Your TV, tablet, phone, computer, watch, and even your doorbell can be sending and receiving data at any time of the day. Using the available six different device connections, you can get all of your electronics set up with NordVPN protection.

Tip: Use one of your available connections to add NordVPN to your router, and every device that uses your router will be protected by extension.

Nord VPN has apps that are available for the following platforms:

  • Android
  • Windows
  • macOS
  • iOS · iPhone · iPad
  • Linux
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Android TV

Starting with your PC or laptop is a great way to begin your new VPN setup. Secure your internet activity today with NordVPN for PC, then expand your protected devices as needed. NordVPN’s competitive prices make it one of the best-valued VPNs on the market. The 30-day money-back guarantee makes this an easy and risk-free decision.

We thank NordVPN for sponsoring this post. Our sponsors help us pay for the many costs associated with running XDA, including server costs, full time developers, news writers, and much more. While you might see sponsored content (which will always be labeled as such) alongside Portal content, the Portal team is in no way responsible for these posts. Sponsored content, advertising and XDA Depot are managed by a separate team entirely. XDA will never compromise its journalistic integrity by accepting money to write favorably about a company, or alter our opinions or views in any way. Our opinion cannot be bought.

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Vivaldi 5.0 adds multiple tab rows and side panels to Android version https://www.xda-developers.com/vivaldi-5-0-update/ https://www.xda-developers.com/vivaldi-5-0-update/#respond Thu, 02 Dec 2021 08:00:41 +0000 https://www.xda-developers.com/?p=565273 Vivaldi is one of the best web browsers around in terms of features. Although it doesn’t offer its own rendering engine (it’s another Chromium fork), the browser has implemented many design improvements over other browsers, such as multiple rows of tabs, a note-taking tool, and other handy features. Vivaldi 5.0 is now rolling out on

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Vivaldi is one of the best web browsers around in terms of features. Although it doesn’t offer its own rendering engine (it’s another Chromium fork), the browser has implemented many design improvements over other browsers, such as multiple rows of tabs, a note-taking tool, and other handy features. Vivaldi 5.0 is now rolling out on Android, and there are some great changes for phones, tablets, and Chromebooks.

Vivaldi 5.0 on Android updates the browser’s tab bar to support smaller tabs (by hiding the close button), and you now have the option for two stacks of tabs, same as on the desktop browser. This is most useful on tablets, Chromebooks, and other Android devices with large screens, but you can use stacked tabs on regular smartphones as well. The tab bar (along with the toolbar/address bar) can also be moved to the top or bottom of the screen, just like Samsung Internet and Firefox.

There are also new improvements in store for tablets and Chromebooks with Vivaldi installed. Side panels are now available, which appear on the left side of the browser and can display history, downloads, bookmarks, and notes. The panel can be turned on or off whenever you want. Vivaldi wrote in its blog post, “one thing that puts Vivaldi ahead of other Android browsers is its first-of-its-kind unique UI. And now we elevate it with a brand-new, super flexible design for you.”

Vivaldi 5.0 includes other new features, such as a page-specific dark mode toggle and an ‘Append to Note’ option that appears when selecting text. The update is rolling out now on the Google Play Store, alongside the release of desktop Vivaldi 5.0, which adds shareable themes and a built-in Translate Panel.

This seems like an impressive update for Vivaldi, but other mobile web browsers aren’t staying still. Mozilla rolled out a new homepage to its Firefox iOS and Android browsers last month, and Google started testing all-new widgets for Chrome on Android in October.

Vivaldi Browser (Free, Google Play) →

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Samsung reportedly plans to expand water resistance to more Galaxy A series phones next year https://www.xda-developers.com/samsung-galaxy-a-series-2022-water-resistance-rating/ https://www.xda-developers.com/samsung-galaxy-a-series-2022-water-resistance-rating/#respond Thu, 02 Dec 2021 07:48:27 +0000 https://www.xda-developers.com/?p=565421 This year the Galaxy A52 and Galaxy A72 became one of the first Galaxy A series phones to receive water resistance. Now if a new report coming out of South Korea is anything to go by, Samsung will be trickling down the water-resistance feature to many more affordable phones in the Galaxy A series. According

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This year the Galaxy A52 and Galaxy A72 became one of the first Galaxy A series phones to receive water resistance. Now if a new report coming out of South Korea is anything to go by, Samsung will be trickling down the water-resistance feature to many more affordable phones in the Galaxy A series.

According to a report from The Elec (via 9to5Google), several new Galaxy A series phones are set to get an official IP rating next year. The move will likely give Samsung a leg up over Chinese players like Xiaomi, OPPO, and Realme, which have long given Samsung tough competition in mid-range and budget segments.

Not every single model in the Galaxy A series will be getting an IP rating, though. The report notes that only the Galaxy A33 and above models will be bestowed with water resistance properties. That means the Galaxy A33, Galaxy A53, and Galaxy A73 all should come with an official IP rating for dust and water resistance.

The report reveals that Samsung will use membrane material and waterproof silicone to achieve water resistance and dust proofing. The membrane material will be applied to the microphone and speaker. Meanwhile, a rubberized silicone will be used to protect the charging port.

While IP67/68 rating has long become a key feature on higher-end flagship phones, it has yet to become commonplace among budget and mid-range phones. As OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei revealed in an interview with MKBHD, it can cost up to $15 per device to do the IP certification, so it’s understandable why most OEMs skimp out on waterproofing on affordable phones.

Earlier in September, The Elec reported that Samsung was planning to bring optical image stabilization (OIS) to all Galaxy A series phones launching in 2022.

Samsung hasn’t officially confirmed whether it plans to offer water resistance and OIS on upcoming Galaxy A phones.


Featured image: leaked render of the Galaxy A53 (via OnLeaks)

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OnePlus 9R picks up November 2021 security update https://www.xda-developers.com/oneplus-9r-picks-up-november-2021-security-update/ https://www.xda-developers.com/oneplus-9r-picks-up-november-2021-security-update/#respond Thu, 02 Dec 2021 06:12:44 +0000 https://www.xda-developers.com/?p=565399 When OnePlus rolled out the November 2021 security update to the OnePlus 9 series last month, it left out the OnePlus 9R. But that’s finally changing as the company is rolling out a similar update to its 2020 affordable flagship. As per user reports on OnePlus forums, the company has started rolling out OxygenOS 11.2.6.6

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When OnePlus rolled out the November 2021 security update to the OnePlus 9 series last month, it left out the OnePlus 9R. But that’s finally changing as the company is rolling out a similar update to its 2020 affordable flagship.

As per user reports on OnePlus forums, the company has started rolling out OxygenOS 11.2.6.6 to the OnePlus 9R. It’s a small update that weighs 372MB and packs November 2021 security patches and stability improvements.

OTA prompt for OxygenOS 11.2.6.6 on a OnePlus 9R

Screenshot credit: @shagulhameed on OnePlus forums

 

OxygenOS 11.2.6.6 update changelog:

  • System
    • Improved system stability and fixed known issues
    • Updated Android security patch to 2021.11

OxygenOS 11.2.6.6 has already started hitting the OnePlus 9R units in India. If you own one, look out for an OTA notification in the coming days. To manually check for the update, navigate to Settings > System > System Update. If you don’t want to wait, we have provided direct links to incremental and full OTAs which you can use to manually install the update. If you’re on OxygenOS 11.2.5.5, pick the incremental package. If you’re running an older version, you’ll need to flash the full OTA. After downloading the package, transfer it to the root directly of your phone’s internal storage and flash it using the Local Upgrade method within the System Update menu.

Download OxygenOS 11.2.5.5 for the OnePlus 9R

OnePlus 9R XDA Forums

In October, OnePlus unveiled the OnePlus 9RT, an upgraded version of the OnePlus 9R. The new model boasts several upgrades and improvements over the previous model, including a faster chipset, better camera, and more. As a quick refresher, the phone features a 6.62-inch 120Hz AMOLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, up to 12GB RAM, a 50MP Sony IMX 766 primary shooter, an in-display fingerprint reader, and a 4,500mAh battery with 65W fast charging support. The OnePlus 9RT is currently exclusive to the Chinese market but it’s reportedly launching in India this month alongside the OnePlus Buds Z2.

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Qualcomm announces the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 Gaming Platform with a Razer developer kit https://www.xda-developers.com/qualcomm-snapdragon-g3x-gen-1/ https://www.xda-developers.com/qualcomm-snapdragon-g3x-gen-1/#respond Wed, 01 Dec 2021 23:00:40 +0000 https://www.xda-developers.com/?p=564957 Qualcomm unveiled the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 yesterday on day one of the company’s tech summit. It marks the introduction of a new naming scheme and packs a ton of improvements over last year’s Snapdragon 888 chipset, particularly when it comes to gaming. The new Adreno GPU sports a 30% graphics rendering capability boost

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Qualcomm unveiled the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 yesterday on day one of the company’s tech summit. It marks the introduction of a new naming scheme and packs a ton of improvements over last year’s Snapdragon 888 chipset, particularly when it comes to gaming. The new Adreno GPU sports a 30% graphics rendering capability boost while also being 25% more efficient, and there are also a lot of Snapdragon Elite Gaming improvements. Now the company is taking its gaming push a step further, with the announcement of the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 gaming platform.

Qualcomm has chipsets for a ton of different devices, and an expansion to gaming was likely always on the cards. Obviously, its most famous chips are those that it makes for smartphones, but it also makes Snapdragon chips for wearables, extended reality (XR) devices, PCs, and even cars.  The aim of the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 gaming platform is to unite all of the Snapdragon Elite Gaming technologies into one cohesive product. It’s a chipset built purely for gaming, and Qualcomm says that it’s designed to be “the PC gaming rig of mobile games”. It has updateable GPU drivers for game optimizations, true 10-bit HDR gaming, support for external displays up to 4K resolution at 144FPS, USB-C for future XR accessories, and supports game streaming from the cloud, from your PC, and from your console. It has support for Qualcomm’s 5G mmWave Modem-RF system too.

Given the proliferation of gaming on Android, Qualcomm has said that for now, it’s focused exclusively on providing its chipset to Android devices. As a result, this doesn’t look like it will end up turning into an NVIDIA Tegra/Nintendo Switch competitor — yet. Even still, this is the company’s first real push into the gaming market, and it has the potential to grow into a whole lot more into the future. It didn’t go too in-depth about the new chipset’s capabilities, though given that the company designed a developer kit in tandem with Razer, it’s clear that Qualcomm has an idea of the direction it wants to push this in. We’re not entirely sure if the G3x is much faster than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 just yet, but we’ll probably find out more about that in the near future.

Qualcomm Snapdragon G3x Gen 1

Razer Developer Kit — powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon G3x Gen 1

With the launch of the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1, Qualcomm unveiled the first developer kit powered by the platform. The company partnered with Razer to build and produce an exclusive development kit with the best hardware you can get in a mobile device. It packs the best of Snapdragon into one powerful handheld device that developers can use and it’s built to be “ergonomically very comfortable” and for use during “really long gaming sessions”. It has active cooling, support for mapping screen presses to buttons and thumbsticks, and it’s the place that Qualcomm says you’ll be able to play “all your games”.

This developer kit will not be available to consumers and is being seeded to developers to provide developers with a way to explore the capabilities of what Qualcomm envisions to be the future of the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1. Qualcomm says that it has to serve the developer community first in order to make them aware of what’s possible, and then OEMs can come along to create hardware that will be sold to consumers around that philosophy.

“Razer is extremely excited to partner with Qualcomm Technologies and support them on their way to introduce new cutting-edge technology to the global gaming industry,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. “Together, Qualcomm Technologies and Razer will lead the way with new and innovative solutions that push the boundaries of fidelity and quality available in portable gaming, transforming the way these games are experienced.”

The Razer developer kit has a 6.65-inch 120Hz OLED display in full HD+ resolution and 10-bit HDR support. There’s a built-in 5MP 1080p60 FPS webcam with two microphones which players can make use of for live streaming games online, and there are also four speakers powered by Snapdragon Sound. Qualcomm says that the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 has the thermal and processing headroom to run games, capture them, composite them with a webcam and microphone, and upload a stream all at once.

The USB-C port can also be used to tether to an XR viewer via USB-C, allowing the device to act as a companion controller. Qualcomm neglected to show much from the device itself, though we imagine that we’ll learn more about it soon as developers get their hands on it.

For now, we can only really speculate about what Qualcomm intends to do with the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1. We also don’t have a clear idea of how much more powerful it is than the regular Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 — if it is at all. Qualcomm describes this as a “next-level” device for mobile gamers, and given that the company also announced a partnership with ESL (Electronic Sports League) with more to come next year, it seems that we may see similar devices to these at the forefront of mobile esports in the future.

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Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 laptop processor offers up to 85% faster performance https://www.xda-developers.com/qualcomms-snapdragon-8cx-7c-plus-gen-3/ https://www.xda-developers.com/qualcomms-snapdragon-8cx-7c-plus-gen-3/#respond Wed, 01 Dec 2021 23:00:17 +0000 https://www.xda-developers.com/?p=564691 It’s been three years since Qualcomm introduced the Snapdragon 8cx. At the time, the company was pulling ahead at a rapid pace, quickly iterating between the Snapdragon 835, the Snapdragon 850, and then its new ‘extreme’ chip that was designed from the ground up for PCs. And then, it just kind of stalled. We’ve seen

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It’s been three years since Qualcomm introduced the Snapdragon 8cx. At the time, the company was pulling ahead at a rapid pace, quickly iterating between the Snapdragon 835, the Snapdragon 850, and then its new ‘extreme’ chip that was designed from the ground up for PCs. And then, it just kind of stalled.

We’ve seen different iterations of the Snapdragon 8cx, including the Microsoft SQ1, SQ2, and even the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2. Indeed, all of these chips were just tweaks apart from each other, usually separated by about 150MHz in clock speed and not much else. The explanation for Gen 2 being a clock speed boost was to shorten the time to market. After the original Snapdragon 8cx was announced, it was over a year before you could get it.

So now, the product seems a bit stale, but Qualcomm is back with a bang. At its Snapdragon Technology Summit in Kona, Hawaii, it introduced the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3. Both of them offer huge performance gains over their predecessors.

Disclaimer: Qualcomm sponsored my trip to Kona, Hawaii, to attend the Snapdragon Tech Summit. The company paid for my flight and hotel. However, they did not have any input regarding the content of this article.

Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3

Here’s the headline for this product: the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 offers up to 85% faster CPU performance and 60% faster GPU performance than the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2. That’s not a small change. It’s also the first 5nm chipset for Windows PCs.

Included in the new flagship chipset are four Kryo cores that are based on Cortex-X1 and four that are based on Cortex-A78. Of course, the natural question you’re going to ask is why the company didn’t use Cortex-X2, as it did in its Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 smartphone platform. The answer is pretty straightforward: the PC market moves very slowly.

The PC market is used to working with Intel, and OEMs have their hands on the chips a long way out from the product announcement. With some companies, they start working with the product 18 months out. Since ARM chips are based on licensed designs, it’s simply not possible to use Cortex-X2 while still shipping products in the first half of next year.

That’s not all though, because Qualcomm never talks about just CPU and GPU performance. It’s more about the total package, and when it comes down to that, you’ll hear the company start talking about AI, which is meant to improve all aspects of the experience.

The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 gets over 29 TOPS, which is just a massive number, and it gets three times better AI performance than its predecessor. Again, Qualcomm is coming out with some big numbers around this chip.

One thing it’s still missing is an integrated 5G modem, something that’s a bit concerning given how many OEMs are starting to make base models of Windows on ARM laptops without cellular connectivity. The chipset can be paired with the Snapdragon X62 for 4.4Gbps speeds, the Snapdragon X55 for 7.5Gbps speeds, or the Snapdragon X65 for 10Gbps speeds. Another possible reason for the options could be to lower prices, as 5G does tend to come at a pretty expensive premium in laptops.

“Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 builds on the technology that has transformed the PC industry, delivering premium experiences with breakthrough performance per watt, immersive camera and audio with enhanced AI-acceleration, lightning-fast 5G connectivity, and chip-to-cloud security in thin, fanless systems,” says Miguel Nunes, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “With Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3, we are raising the bar in the entry-tier by extending 5G mobile computing across ecosystems. Whether for consumers, business, or education, Snapdragon compute platforms deliver the capabilities and experiences that our ecosystem customers and end users need.”

Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3

Next up is the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3. If you’re familiar with Qualcomm branding, then you probably think that the ‘+’ means that it’s a clock speed bump. After all, that’s what it’s always meant in the past. Not this time though. Just like the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 is a full redesign over its predecessor. The reason it’s called the 7c+ instead of the 7c is because the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 is still going to be sold.

Speaking with Miguel Nunes, he said that you can think of the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 as being comparable to an Intel Pentium, while the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 is more like a Celeron.

Qualcomm didn’t talk as much about the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3, and the feature sheets aren’t as detailed. There are a few things of note though. It’s a 6nm chip, which is still better than anything that’s not made by Qualcomm on the Windows market. It also offers 60% faster CPU performance and 70% faster GPU performance than the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2, packing four Kryo cores that are based on Cortex-A78 and four that are based on Cortex-A55. For AI performance, the chipset will get you 6.5 TOPS, which is pretty impressive considering that this is a chipset for budget laptops.

They’re not competing with Apple…yet

Ever since Qualcomm acquired Nuvia earlier this year, it’s been saying that this is the technology that it’s going to need to compete with Apple Silicon Macs. That technology is going to start sampling in the second half of 2022 and will ship in 2023. That means that the Nuvia chip that will compete with Apple will probably be announced at next year’s Snapdragon Summit. In other words, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is not it.

That’s not to say that this is a bad product. Indeed, it’s actually quite exciting. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is a massive improvement over its predecessor, and while it’s still not as powerful as Macs, it’s going to offer the value proposition that we’ve seen on Windows on ARM PCs before, such as fast connectivity, battery life, thin and light form factors, and more.

The Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 brings that stuff to an even lower price point. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Book Go is a laptop that only costs a few hundred dollars, but still weighs around three pounds thanks to the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 that’s inside. Gen 3 will continue to offer that kind of value, and don’t forget, we see the Snapdragon 7c series in a lot of Chromebooks as well.

Both the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 should arrive in devices in the first half of 2022.

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XDA Basics: How to check your iPhone’s battery health https://www.xda-developers.com/how-to-check-iphone-battery-health/ https://www.xda-developers.com/how-to-check-iphone-battery-health/#respond Wed, 01 Dec 2021 20:00:23 +0000 https://www.xda-developers.com/?p=558587 Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are consumables that have limited lifespans. When a battery degrades, a full charge won’t last you as long as that on a new battery. The lifespan of a lithium-ion battery has a set number of full recharging cycles. After you cross that certain number, the battery will need replacement. Otherwise, your iPhone

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Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are consumables that have limited lifespans. When a battery degrades, a full charge won’t last you as long as that on a new battery. The lifespan of a lithium-ion battery has a set number of full recharging cycles. After you cross that certain number, the battery will need replacement. Otherwise, your iPhone might become slower, shut down unexpectedly, and/or not last long enough on a single charge. Here’s how to check your iPhone’s battery health.

How to check your iPhone’s battery health

  • Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.

How to check your iPhone's battery health

  • Scroll down and click on Battery.

How to check your iPhone's battery health

  • Click on Battery Health.

How to check your iPhone's battery health

  • There you will be able to find out your battery’s Maximum Capacity. If, for example, your Maximum Capacity is 75%, that indicates that a full charge now will last you as long as a new battery charged to 75% would. So if the new battery would last you for 8 hours, a battery with 75% capacity will last you for around 6 hours.

How to check your iPhone's battery health

  • Peak Performance Capability indicates whether your iPhone is being slowed down to avoid an unexpected shutdown. When the battery is degraded, iOS limits your iPhone’s processing power. If this screen mentions that on your device, you can bypass that and restore the original iPhone speed. However, your iPhone’s battery won’t last as long and might shut down at unexpected times.

How to check your iPhone's battery health

  • Optimized Battery Charging learns from your charging habits and adapts accordingly. If you charge your iPhone every night and unplug it at 6AM, for example, iPhone won’t fully charge your battery until 6AM or so. That’s because keeping your iPhone on the charger while its battery is full contributes to its degradation.

iOS will let you know when you should replace your battery by displaying a message in the Battery section. It will also indicate whether the replacement is an original battery or not. If you’re not satisfied with your iPhone’s battery life and its Maximum Capacity has dropped significantly, you can always get the battery replaced, even if iOS hasn’t notified you yet. And if you haven’t upgraded your phone in a fair few years, you can check out our recommendations on the best iPhone to buy across budgets and jump to a new phone and better battery life.

How many hours does your iPhone last you on a single charge? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Respawn is removing the original Titanfall game from stores https://www.xda-developers.com/respawn-titanfall-discontinued/ https://www.xda-developers.com/respawn-titanfall-discontinued/#respond Wed, 01 Dec 2021 19:28:09 +0000 https://www.xda-developers.com/?p=565251 Titanfall generated plenty of excitement before its release in 2014, as it was being created by former developers of Infinity Ward (creators of Call of Duty) at a new studio, Respawn Entertainment. The game received mostly-great reviews, and Respawn followed it up with a sequel in 2016, but the original Titanfall remained online and available

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Titanfall generated plenty of excitement before its release in 2014, as it was being created by former developers of Infinity Ward (creators of Call of Duty) at a new studio, Respawn Entertainment. The game received mostly-great reviews, and Respawn followed it up with a sequel in 2016, but the original Titanfall remained online and available to purchase for anyone who wanted to give it a shot. However, that is now changing.

Respawn Entertainment wrote in a tweet (via VentureBeat), “We’ve made the decision to discontinue new sales of the original Titanfall game starting today and we’ll be removing the game from subscription services on March 1, 2022. We will, however, be keeping servers like for the dedicated fanbase still playing and those who own the game and are looking to drop into a match. Rest assured, Titanfall is core to Respawn’s DNA and this incredible universe will continue.”

The first Titanfall game was unique for its mech-style “Titans,” which could be entered by players and controlled as walking tanks, as well as wall-running and its high limit of 50 characters in a single game. It has both campaign and battle components (both of which are online), as does its 2016 sequel, Titanfall 2. Respawn also released Apex Legends in 2019, which is still receiving updates and is set in the same universe as the Titanfall series.

Considering gameplay for Titanfall 2 is similar to the original, the main loss here is that Titanfall’s campaign won’t be (legally) playable for anyone who doesn’t own the game already. The game suffered from constant DDoS attacks earlier this year, which prevented both the co-op campaign and battle components from working, but more recent reviews indicate Titanfall is usable again.

If you want to (legally) try out Respawn’s first game in the future, your only choices will be to hunt down a used copy of the console versions, and hope Respawn keeps the servers online for a while longer. You also have until March to enjoy it on the EA Play subscription service.

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Reddit introduces new features to help users connect in real time https://www.xda-developers.com/reddit-introduces-new-features-to-help-users-connect-in-real-time/ https://www.xda-developers.com/reddit-introduces-new-features-to-help-users-connect-in-real-time/#respond Wed, 01 Dec 2021 19:10:14 +0000 https://www.xda-developers.com/?p=565221 Reddit is continuously evolving and receiving new features that make the platform more social and modern. Earlier this year, the company introduced Clubhouse-like audio rooms. The company has also been encouraging users to set a profile photo or an avatar. That’s by making user thumbnails visible in the comments section. What once used to be

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Reddit is continuously evolving and receiving new features that make the platform more social and modern. Earlier this year, the company introduced Clubhouse-like audio rooms. The company has also been encouraging users to set a profile photo or an avatar. That’s by making user thumbnails visible in the comments section. What once used to be a network focused on anonymity is slowly turning into a more open platform. And today’s transparency updates only contribute to that. Reddit is rolling out new features to make the platform more engaging and lively.

In a blog post, the company announced today that it’s introducing new features to make Reddit look and feel more Lively and in-the-moment. These changes are voting and comment count animations, typing and reading indicators, and a new comment pill. Users on iOS, Android, and the web will be able to take advantage of them starting today.

Voting and Comment Count Animations

Votes on Reddit are no longer static numbers. They now change in real time with newly-introduced animations to reflect that. This change affects both posts and comments, so voting is now clearer and more accurate.

Typing and Reading Indicators

typing indicator reddit reading indicator reddit

When two or more Reddit users are typing a comment on a post, an indicator reflects that now. However, it uses randomized avatars, rather than the actual ones of the commenters. This change aims to show readers that comments are being typed by a certain number of people, rather than actually revealing the identities of those who are typing. Similarly, when five or more users are reading a post, an indicator will reflect that number through anonymous avatars.

New Comment Pill

new comment pill reddit

This new pill is a floating indicator in the comments section. It’ll highlight when new comments are added to the post you’re reading. When you click the pill, comments will be sorted by new, and newly posted ones will be highlighted in real time. This makes keeping up with a live discussion easier.

What do you think of these new features? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Barnes & Noble promises the Nook isn’t dead, reveals Nook GlowLight 4 https://www.xda-developers.com/nook-glowlight-4/ https://www.xda-developers.com/nook-glowlight-4/#respond Wed, 01 Dec 2021 18:51:10 +0000 https://www.xda-developers.com/?p=565217 Book seller Barnes & Noble has been selling Nook e-readers for over a decade, leading them to become a major player in the e-reader market for several years. Besides normal book features, the Android-based operating system made some models popular for modding, such as the 2011 Nook Simple Touch. Barnes & Noble doesn’t control nearly

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Book seller Barnes & Noble has been selling Nook e-readers for over a decade, leading them to become a major player in the e-reader market for several years. Besides normal book features, the Android-based operating system made some models popular for modding, such as the 2011 Nook Simple Touch. Barnes & Noble doesn’t control nearly as much of the e-reader market as it once did, but the company isn’t done with the Nook lineup yet.

Barnes & Noble has just announced the Nook GlowLight 4 (via The Verge), replacing the 2017 GlowLight 3 as the cheapest option for a Nook e-reader. It’s priced at $150, which is $40 more than the Amazon Kindle without ads, or $60 more than a Kindle with ads. If Barnes & Noble is hoping to win over Kindle owners, that might have to wait for sales.

NOOK GlowLight 4 NOOK GlowLight 4
Specification Nook GlowLight 4
Display
  • 6-inch 300dpi e-ink screen
  • GlowLight backlight with optional Night Mode
RAM & Storage 32GB internal storage (29.1GB free for content)
Battery & Charging “Approximately one month”
Port USB Type-C
Audio None
Connectivity Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n)
Other Features
  • ePub, PDF, Adobe DRM ePub/PDF, JPG, GIF, PNG and BMP file support
  • Free Wi-Fi at all B&N stores and at 30,000 AT&T hotspots worldwide
  • Physical page-turning buttons

The GlowLight 4 has the same 6-inch 300ppi e-paper display (with a backlight) as the previous GlowLight 3, but the bezels have been slimmed down, and battery life has been increased to around 50 days on a single charge. There’s also 32GB of internal storage, instead of the 8GB on the previous model, and the microUSB port has been swapped for a USB Type-C connector.

Even though this is an upgrade over the older Nook, it’s still missing features that are common on other e-readers (and even some previous models in Barnes & Noble’s own lineup). There’s no microSD card slot for adding more storage, no audio playback for audiobooks, and no water resistance. However, you can transfer standard PDF and ePub books to the GlowLight 4 over USB, which is still a selling point compared to the Kindle (where eBooks usually need to be converted first).

The Nook GlowLight 4 will be released on December 8th, and you can buy it from the Barnes & Noble website.

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Best motherboards for Intel CPUs you can buy in 2021 https://www.xda-developers.com/best-motherboard-intel/ https://www.xda-developers.com/best-motherboard-intel/#respond Wed, 01 Dec 2021 17:30:23 +0000 https://www.xda-developers.com/?p=556929 A motherboard is one of the most important components of a PC, if not the most. It provides a foundation on which the rest of your PC will be built. Choosing the best motherboard may not be as exciting as picking other parts, but it’s safe to say that you shouldn’t skimp on it. We

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A motherboard is one of the most important components of a PC, if not the most. It provides a foundation on which the rest of your PC will be built. Choosing the best motherboard may not be as exciting as picking other parts, but it’s safe to say that you shouldn’t skimp on it. We already have an elaborate list of the best motherboards you can buy with some buying tips too. That list, however, includes both Intel as well as AMD options. In this article, we’ll be checking out the best motherboards for Intel CPUs you can buy right now.

It’s true that AMD’s been making huge waves in the CPU space with its offerings, but Intel chips are getting better too. The new 12th gen Alder Lake CPUs, for instance, are now better than ever and they offer significant gen-on-gen improvements over the 11th gen Rocket Lake chips. The new chips, however, use LGA 1700 socket and require a Z690 chipset-based motherboard to work. We’ve added a couple of LGA 1700 motherboards to this list, so be sure to check them out. That being said, let’s get started with this list of the best Intel motherboards you can buy right now.

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Best LGA 1700 motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero

An ASUS ROG motherboard with LGA 1700 socket and customizable display

ASUS is one of the first manufacturers to announce the availability of the new Z690 chipset-based motherboards on the market for Intel’s new 12th gen Alder Lake chips. The company ended up launching a handful of new boards for the new chips, but we think the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero is the best motherboard you can buy for the new 12th gen Intel processors. This motherboard carries the new LGA 1700 socket that’s required for the new processors and it also brings a ton of other noteworthy features to the table.

The ROG Maximus Z690 is also one of the best-looking motherboards on the market right now with a very unique appearance. The black-colored PCB of the board is covered by a sophisticated heatsink for the most part. There’s a pixelated ROG eye logo on the chipset heatsink along with some RGB showcase on the I/O shroud on the top next to the LGA 1700 socket. You can customize the lighting here on this panel, so you don’t necessarily have to put up with the existing design if it doesn’t fit your boat.

The ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 motherboard comes with a robust VRM consisting of a 20+1 phase power delivery system. It also has two 8-pin EPS connectors with an output of 1,800A. The heatsink on the VRM system ensures the thermal output is kept under acceptable limits at all times, even when the system is under load. The ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 is one of the first motherboards to have DIMMs that accept the new DDR5 memory kits on the market. You can install a DDR5 memory kit with memory speeds of up to 6400MHz, which is great. DDR5 memory is still in its infancy, but you can check out our collection of the best DDR5 RAM kits to check all the available options.

It’s worth pointing out that you can’t use both DDR4 and DDR5 memory kits on the same motherboard. You will have to pick your poison and choose the motherboard accordingly, so do keep that in mind. It goes without saying that getting into the DDR5 memory space will further increase the overall cost of your build. The ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero comes with space to install three m.2 drives. Additionally, you also get an M.2 add-in card as an accessory to add more slots for the drives.

One thing we really like about this particular motherboard is that the M.2 slots come with rotatable latches that make up for a screwless installation. It also comes with the Q-Release button to release the GPU to make your lives easier. Just like a lot of other premium motherboards on the market, the I/O shield comes pre-installed on this board, so that’s one less thing to worry about while building the PC. The ROG Maximus Z690 Hero also comes with a lot of other noteworthy features including the support for WiFi 6, ALC4082 codec by Realtek, a 2.5G Ethernet, and more. You also get plenty of USB ports and a lot of headers for all your computing needs like connecting fans/pumps, RGB lights, USB, etc.

    ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero motherboard
    The ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero is one of the best Z690 chipset based motherboards you can buy right now. It carries the LGA 1700 socket for the new 12th gen Intel CPUs and it has a customizable display on the I/O shield cover that looks fantastic.

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Alternate best Z690 motherboard: MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi

A black-colored MSI motherboard with RGB lights on a white background

If you don’t want to burn a $600 hole in your pocket while shopping for a new Z690 chipset motherboard for your new PC, then you might want to check out the MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi. This is one of the first few Z690 chipset-based motherboards on the market that goes easy on your credit card. That being said, it doesn’t skimp out on any necessary features like DDR5 memory support, PCIe 5.0 slot, etc. It’s our pick for the second-best Z690-based motherboard you can buy right now.

MSI already has an elaborate list of motherboards on the market for both Intel as well as AMD systems. The new MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi, however, is one of their boards right now. It matches the more expensive boards in terms of PCIe 5.0 and M.2 availability and also has a decent set of I/O. Much of the black-colored PCB of this motherboard, just like the ASUS Maximus Z690 Hero, is covered with a heatsink. It’s clearly made for high-end builds involving high-performance CPUs. It also supports overclocking, which is fantastic because all Alder Lake CPUs that are out right now support overclocking.

You also get a decent amount of RGB on the motherboard to make it more appealing. The I/O shroud lights up as soon as you turn on the system and shows the MSI Dragon logo. The Carbon logo on top of the chipset heatsink also glows, so there’s that too. It doesn’t look overly obnoxious though, and we’ve seen more striking designs than this, so we think it’s fine for someone who likes to have a touch of RGB on their motherboard.

The chipset heatsink completely covers the PCIe portion of the motherboard. The part that shields the m.2 drive also has thermal pads to keep the drive cool at all times. Notably, two out of three full-length x16 slots are shielded against electrical interference and are also reinforced to make sure you can install the biggest GPUs of them all. It also comes with a robust VRM module with an 18+1+1 phase power delivery system. As mentioned earlier, you also get support for DDR5 memory kits on this motherboard. This means you won’t be able to install any DDR4 modules on this board, so do keep that in mind. MSI says the Carbon motherboard support memory speeds of up to DDR5-6666Mhz, which is great.

MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi also comes with a lot of ports at the back including both USB 3.2 and USB 2.0. There’s also a 2.5G LAN port for faster ethernet speeds. This particular MSI motherboard also supports Wi-Fi 6 and you do get an antenna for that in the box. The I/O shield comes pre-installed on this motherboard, so that’s great too.

Overall, we think the MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi is one of the best Z690-based motherboards you can buy right now. We’ll continue to get more Z690 chipset motherboards on the market, but there are very few options available right now. This particular MSI motherboard stands out from the bunch right now mainly due to its relatively affordable price tag.

    MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi motherboard
    The MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi is a great alternative to the ROG Z690 motherboard. This one also comes with support for DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0

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Best high-end enthusiast Z590 motherboard: MSI MEG Z590 Godlike

The MSI MEG Z590 Godlike motherboard with RGB lights standing on a white background

While you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars chasing a high-end enthusiast-grade motherboard to get the best performance out of your system, we wanted to highlight an ultra-premium motherboard in this collection that comes with all the bells and whistles. That’s the MSI MEG Z590 Godlike is arguably the most expensive mainstream Z590 motherboard you can buy on the market right now and, understandably, it’s one of the best motherboards you can use for your high-end enthusiast-grade PC build.

The MSI MEG Z590 Godlike, as the name suggests comes with the Z590 chipset and it’s designed for Intel’s Rocket Lake processors. It carries the LGA 1200 socket, which means it supports both Rocket Lake as well as Comet Lake processors. The MEG Z590 Godlike, as you can see, comes with quite an elaborate PCB. It’s a black-colored unit that’s mostly covered by sophisticated heatsinks. The I/O shield cover is a clear panel that integrates MSI’s Dragon logo that lights with RGB LEDs. There’s also a dynamic dashboard II OLED panel next to the DIMM slots. The three M.2 slots are also covered by a heatsink and it also has thermal pads inside to keep the m.2 stick cool.

The MEG Godlike supports PCIe 4.0 with the board’s upper two full-length slots operating at PCIe 4.0 x16 and x8/x8. The third full-length PCIe slot is electronically locked to PCIe 3.0 x4 through the chipset. Notably, the motherboard also comes with six SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10. As a premium motherboard, the MEG Godlike comes with an I/O shield pre-installed, and it comes with a bunch of ports for connectivity. You get a dual Thunderbolt 4 Type-C with two mini-DisplayPorts inputs for video capabilities, with one DisplayPort 1.4 video output. It also includes two USB 3.2 G2 Type-A and six USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports, which we think is more than enough to accommodate all your peripherals.

The Z590 Godlike also includes Intel’s latest AX210 Wi-Fi 6E CNVi giving access to a 6GHz band and includes support for BT 5.2 devices. The MSI MEG Z690 Godlike also comes with a robust VRM setup for a reliable power delivery system. It’s covered with a heatsink to keep the temperatures low at all times. We’ve seen a lot of sophisticated motherboards on the market, some even with waterblocks for liquid cooling, none of them come close to the MSI MEG Z590 Godlike. This motherboard is best paired with high-performance chips like the Intel Core i9-11900K. It also supports overclocking which means you’ll have absolutely no issues getting the most out of your processor.

Compared to the Z490 version of the Godlike motherboard, MSI has made some really good changes for this one and have implemented them very well. The new one looks more premium and has a ton of upgrades like full support for PCIe 4.0, premium audio codecs, and more. There’s no need to spend over a thousand dollars on a motherboard to get the best performance out of your PC, but if you’re planning on spending that much money on a motherboard then let it be this one.

    MSI MEG Z590 Godlike motherboard
    The MSI MEG Z590 Godlike is one of the most premium Z590 chipset-based motherboards you can buy on the market right now. It comes with all the bells and whistles that you'd expect from a $1000 motherboard for your high-end build.

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Best Z590 motherboard for overclocking: Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Tachyon

A black colored Gigabyte motherboard with orange accents
There’s no shortage of enthusiast-focused motherboards on the market for both Intel as well as AMD-based builds. The Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Tachyon is our pick for the best enthusiast-grade motherboard that support extreme overclocking options for both CPU as well memory modules. This is the kind of stuff that enthusiast PC builders like to deal with. It comes with a lot of overclocking focused features such as additional buttons and switches to help you tweak settings, a monstrous VRM module, dual memory slot design, and more. There’s also a comprehensive BIOS tweaking option that’ll let you tinker around until you find the best settings for your usage.

The Tachyon packs a direct 12-phase VRM with 100A power stages. It’s safe to say that it’ll offer s reliable power delivery to all the components on the board without any major issues, even under extreme conditions. The Tachyon also offers plenty of ports for connectivity. You get eight SATA ports and three M.2 slots along with USB 3.2 Gen 2, Intel 2.5G LAN and Wi-Fi 6E. The rear I/O is also packed with a ton of stuff. One thing we don’t really like about this motherboard is that the I/O shield doesn’t come pre-installed. While this won’t bother enthusiast PC builders this motherboard is targeted at, we think it should have a pr-installed shield, especially at this price point. Just remember to install the I/O shield before you mount the motherboard inside the case using the standoffs.

There’s not a lot going on when it comes to the overall design of the Tachyon motherboard. It’s a fairly simple looking motherboard with an all-black PCB and some heatsinks for the VRM and the chipset. It’s similar to what we’ve come to expect from a lot of premium motherboards on the market. The heatsink/shroud on top of the chipset has orange accents, but there’s nothing in the name of RGB lights. The PCIe slots for the graphics card are also reinforced, which means you can install the biggest graphics cards you can find on the market. The DRAM slots are also reinforced, however you only get two of them. This means you can only install a maximum of up to 64GB of RAM with speeds listed to DDR4 5333 on the memory compatibility chart. It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker but you might want to keep a note of that.

The motherboard, as mentioned earlier, also comes with a dedicated spot for overclocking section which includes power/reset and CMOS buttons. Additionally, you also get switches for switching between the stored profiles. Notably, there’s also an OC trigger button to cut down the CPU frequency to stock figures in case something goes wrong. Overall, we think the Gigabyte Aorus Tachyon motherboard is one of the best motherboards for overclockers and tweakers who love pushing the limits of their builds. We also like the overall aesthetics of the board. It should have no issues blending in to most builds. You can hit the link below to find the best price for this particular motherboard on the market right now.

    Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Tachyon
    The Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Tachyon is one of the best motherboards for those leaning towards an Intel CPU for their build. It's offers a good mix of features and relaible performance even for the most demanding builds.

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Best Z590 motherboard for the price: ASUS TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WiFi

The ASUS TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WiFi motherboard standing next to its retail box and the wifi antenna

If you don’t have a $1000 burning a hole in your pocket and if you’re looking for something that’s more affordable, then we recommend picking up the ASUS TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WiFi for an Intel-based build. This Z590 chipset-based motherboard carries an affordable price tag of around $250 and it offers all the necessary features that you’d ever need for a really good PC build. We think this motherboard offers a solid entry point onto Intel’s 11th gen Rocket Lake processors.

The ASUS TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WiFi is supposedly the ‘entry-level’ Z590 motherboard but this is plenty to handle even the most demanding high-performance chips in the Rocket Lake series including the Core i9-11900K. It offers a solid set of features that are enough to make it a capable mid-range solution for gamers and content creators alike. The TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WiFi motherboard, as you can see, comes with a black-colored PCB that’s covered with heatsinks for the most part with some yellow accents thrown into the mix. It looks really good for a motherboard that costs as much as it does. It carries an LGA 1200 socket for all your Rocket Lake needs and it also comes with 4 DIMM slots that can accommodate up to 128 GB of DDR4-5133 memory. That’s impressive for a motherboard in this price range. Other noteworthy features include a Realtek RTL8125 2.5 GbE controller and Intel’s AX200 Wi-Fi 6 CNVi, and more.

The ASUS TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WiFi has two M.2 slots that’s enough for a motherboard like this. It also includes six SATA ports with RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 and PCIe 4.0 support. There’s one full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slot, with one full-length PCIe 3.0 x4 and three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots for installing various expansion cards. For audio, the motherboard is using a premium SupremeFX S1220A HD audio codec. The I/O shield, as you can see, also comes pre-installed and it comes with one USB 3.2 G2x2 Type-C, one USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and four USB 2.0 ports. There’s also a handy BIOS flashback button that allows you to update the board’s firmware to the latest BIOS with power to the board and a USB flash drive. It also comes with an HDMI and DisplayPort video output for those who’re using a processor with integrated graphics.

Performance-wise, the ASUS TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WiFi is impressive too. Its robust power delivery system ensures sustained power delivery for the components. It also supports overclocking if you like to get your hands dirty with one of the unlocked Rocket Lake chips. It’s obviously not as feature-packed as the MSI MEG Z590 Godlike, but that’s given considering its affordable price tag. You can also choose to step down to a B560-based motherboard to save a bit more money but you may have to let go of some other features in that case. We think the ASUS TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WiFi sits in a sweet spot for most builds. You can click the link below to find the best price online for this particular motherboard.

    ASUS TUF Gaming Z590 Plus WiFi motherboard
    The ASUS TUF Z590 Plus WiFi motherboard is an affordable Z590-based board that comes with all the essential features of a high-end motherboard.

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Best budget B560 micro-ATX motherboard for Intel CPUs: ASRock B560M Steel Legend

A black colored ASRock B560M Steel Legend motherboard with RGB lights

Micro-ATX motherboards tend to skimp on a lot of important features due to the size limitation of the board. Compared to standard ATX motherboards, you’ll see micro-ATX boards ditching some PCIe slots, among other things. That being said, we think the ASRock B560M Steel Legend strikes a good balance of price and features. The ASRock B560M Steel Legend, as the name suggests, is a smaller version of the standard ASRock B560 Steel Legend motherboard. The ‘M’ suffix suggests it’s a micro-ATX motherboard suitable for PC cases with limited space.

The ASRock B560M Steel Legend is one of the best-looking micro-ATX motherboards on the market right now. It sports a unique urban camouflage aesthetics on the PCB and has white/silver colored heatsinks covering different parts of the board as opposed to a single chunk of the shroud. The motherboard also includes some RGB LEDs to add a little bit of flair. There’s an RGB strip along the right edge of the motherboard that throws a subtle strip of light on the PC case. It’s a nice effect and we’ve seen a lot of motherboard rock this look.

The ASRock B560M Steel Legend is based on Intel’s B560 chipset and that’s good a mid-range build. It’s best paired with, say, an Intel Core i5 processor. There’s no official CPU overclocking support on this motherboard but you can overclock the memory modules. The ASRock B560M Steel Legend supports up to 128 GB of DDR4-4800 memory across four memory slots. Storage options on the motherboard include dual M.2 slots, with one of these allowing for up to PCIe 4.0 x4 fast NVMe drives. The other one, however, is limited to PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA drives. For SATA devices, there are six SATA ports on this motherboard which we think is more than enough to connect a lot of SATA-based devices.

The motherboard also comes with one full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slot, with two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots for networking and other devices including audio and storage controllers. The I/O shield isn’t pre-installed on this board, but that’s understandable considering its affordable price tag. You’ll have to manually install it while building your PC. That being said, you get plenty of ports on the back, including HDMI, and DisplayPort video output for those who are using a processor with an integrated GPU. That’s going to come in handy because a lot of people buying this motherboard will most likely be using a processor with integrated graphics. It’s a budget motherboard that’s suitable for entry-level builds, after all.

We recommend stepping up to the standard ATX variant of this motherboard if you’re working with a full or mid-tower PC case. You can also consider some other M-ATX motherboards like the ASUS Prime B560M-A that costs a little over $100 right now. The MSI MAG B560M Bazooka is also a capable board in this price range. The main difference between these boards is the aesthetics. That comes down to a personal preference, so we’ll leave it to you to figure out which ones are best.

    ASRock B560M Steel Legend motherboard
    The ASRock B560M Steel Legend is a micro-ATX motherboard that doesn't skimp on a lot of important features due to its smaller size. It offers a great set of features for the price.

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Best mini-ITX motherboard for Intel CPUs: Gigabyte Z590I Aorus Ultra

A black colored Gigabyte motherboard with RGB lights on the sides

You can’t possibly fit an ATX motherboard inside a small mini-ITX PC if you’re looking at a small form-factor (SFF) build, and that’s exactly why we’ve added what we think is one of the best mini-ITX motherboards you can right now on the market. The Gigabyte Z590I Aorus Ultra is one of the most affordable mini-ITX motherboards right now and it comes with all the essential features that you’d expect a decent motherboard for a relatively high-end build involving a high-performance processor.

The Gigabyte Z590I Aorus Ultra sports a finned heatsink for the VRM that’s connected to a second VRM heatsink via a heat pipe. The larger heatsink, as you can see, has a brushed aluminum finish also with the Aorus falcon logo at the bottom. The chipset/M.2 slot heatsink has the word Arous written on it. The best thing about this particular motherboard is that all major slots including PCIe, EPS, DRAM, and ATX connectors, etc. are reinforced with Gigabyte’s armor. It makes up for an appealing look in addition to ensuring all your components are sturdy on the board. There’s also an RGB LED strip towards the front of the board. We’ve already seen this particular light on a lot of motherboards, so there’s nothing new here.

Despite being a mini-ITX motherboard Gigabyte hasn’t skimped on any important features. In fact, it even comes with plenty of headers for fans/pumps, RGB, as well as USB ports. You’ll also see two DIMM slots next to the LGA 1200 socket. The Gigabyte Z590I Aorus Ultra supports up to 64GB of unbuffered non ECC RAM with speeds listed up to DDR4 4600(OC). It goes without saying that your mileage may vary when it comes to memory speeds. At the bottom, you also get a full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slot for your graphics card. The M.2 socket and the chipsets are above the PCIe slot.

Another good thing about the Gigabyte Z590I Aorus Ultra motherboard is that the I/O shield is pre-installed on the motherboard which means that’s one less thing to worry about while building a PC. This is particularly handy in the case of mini-ITX builds because you’ll already be working with limited space, making it difficult to install each component. The port selection at the back includes a total of five USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port along with two USB 2.0 ports. You also get an HDMI and DisplayPort for using processors with integrated graphics cards. Additionally, there’s also a Q-Flash button, 2.5 GbE port, Wi-Fi antenna connections and the 3-plug audio stack.

Overall, we think the Gigabyte Z590I Aorus Ultra is a fantastic motherboard that’s perfect for dishing out a high-end mini-ITX build. It also supports overclocking, although that’s not something we always recommend when it comes to small form-factor PCs. There are some other really good options on the market when it comes to mini-ITX motherboards, but we think the Gigabyte Z590I Aorus Ultra strikes a good balance between the price and some other important features that makes it worth considering over the others.

    Gigabyte Z590I Aorus Ultra mini-ITX motherbaord
    The Gigabyte Z590I Aorus Ultra is a fantastic mini-ITX motherboard for your small form-factor builds. It comes with all the essential features and even supports overclocking for the CPU.

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Best ATX Z590 Motherboard for Custom Cooling: Asus ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial

A silver colored motherboard with a water block for liquid cooling
The Asus ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial is one of the most sophisticated motherboards you’ll find on the market for your Rocket Lake build. It’s one of the few boards that comes with a custom waterblock. This particular motherboard is built for sophisticated liquid cooling builds involving a custom loop. The waterblock, as you can see, extends to a lot of components on the board including the CPU, the VRM system, and even the chipset/M.2 portion of the board. This means you don’t even need a CPU waterblock for your custom loop. ASUS has built this particular motherboard in partnership with EK, a company that’s well-known for its liquid cooling solutions.

In terms of the aesthetics of the motherboard, well, it doesn’t get better than this, does it? The custom EK-made monoblock covers most of the PCB and it has RGB lighting elements located in the visible cooling channels. You only see the reinforced PCIe slots through the shroud, giving it a very clear appearance. Much like some of the other high-end ASUS motherboards, this particular unit also comes with the two-inch LiveDash color OLED panel. This displays info about the system during POST and while booted including the system temperatures, clock speeds, voltage, and more. If you are fancy enough, then you can also make it display custom GIFs too.

You get two 8-pin EPS connectors with the motherboard to power the CPU. It goes without saying that you also get a ton of headers for fans/pumps, RGB, USB, and more. There are four RAM slots on this board, although none of them are reinforced. They support up to 128GB of RAM with speeds listed to an ultra-fast DDR4 5333+(OC), though. One of the best things about this motherboard is that it comes with a ROG Clavis USB DAC with a built-in amplifier. This is some top-notch stuff and it should be sufficient for nearly all users out there. You also get three M.2 slots on this motherboard along with two reinforced full-length slots.

In order to use this motherboard, you can simply channel the coolant via pipes to the motherboard waterblock instead of having to buy a separate waterblock for the CPU or the M.2 slots. This motherboard doesn’t come cheap but it covers some of the cost associated with buying a separate waterbklock for your cooling loop. Once you strip all the heatsinks, blocks and shrouds off, the underlying PCB is the same as the one used for the Asus ROG Maximus XIII Extreme motherboard. This means you can step down to the Extreme motherboard instead of the Glacial one if you don’t necessarily need a sophisticated cooling solution.

Overall, there’s a lot to like about the ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial. It’s, without a doubt one of the best Z590 chipset-based motherboards you can buy on the market right now. It carries a premium price tag of close to $1000, though, so you’re looking at a premium high-end motherboard that’s only suitable for builds involving sophisticated custom loop liquid cooling solutions.

    Asus ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial
    The Asus ROG Maximus XIII Extreme Glacial is the only motherboard in this collection that supports liquid cooling thanks to the massive water block covering the majority of the board.

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Best motherboards for Intel CPUs: Final Thoughts

Intel’s been slowly but surely making progress with their CPUs, trying to catch up with the existing AMD Ryzen processors. We think the company has already done a commendable job with its 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs, and we can’t wait for the remaining Alder Lake chips to hit the shelves. As such, we’ve also added a couple of new Intel Z690 chipset-based motherboards to this list for those who’re interesting in building a PC with the new chips. The ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero is one of the best Z690 motherboards you can buy right now. We’ve also added the MSI MEG Z590 Godlike as an ultra-premium Z590 motherboard for high-end PCs. Alternatively, you can also go with budget boards like the ASUS TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WiFi or even the ASRock B560M Steel Legend if you’re looking to save some money for some of the other core components.

With the launch of the new Alder Lake CPUs and Windows 11 OS, things are looking great for those who’re leaning towards an Intel-based PC build right now. You can check out our other collections like the best monitors or even the best webcams if you’re planning to build a new setup from scratch. We also encourage you to join our XDA Computing Forums to get more recommendations or even discuss your PC builds with other experts within the community.

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Jealous of Spotify Wrapped stories? Here’s how to view your stats on other services https://www.xda-developers.com/jealous-of-spotify-wrapped-stories/ https://www.xda-developers.com/jealous-of-spotify-wrapped-stories/#respond Wed, 01 Dec 2021 17:30:13 +0000 https://www.xda-developers.com/?p=565175 December is an exciting month to many of us — be it Christmas season, anticipations for the new year, or the colder weather. Some of us, though, look forward to this month to look back on their years in music. As you may have heard, Spotify Wrapped 2021 is already live, and users are posting

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December is an exciting month to many of us — be it Christmas season, anticipations for the new year, or the colder weather. Some of us, though, look forward to this month to look back on their years in music. As you may have heard, Spotify Wrapped 2021 is already live, and users are posting their stats all over social media. Are you using a different music streaming service and feeling jealous of these interesting stories? Here’s how to view your stats on other services.

Apple Music

Apple Music Replay 2021 Apple Music Replay 2021 Apple Music Replay 2021

Apple’s music streaming service takes Wrapped to the next level. While the company doesn’t offer as many statistics as Spotify, it has an advantage that beats almost all other rivals. On Apple Music you can view your listening-related data all year round. There’s a new Replay [year] playlist that gets added to the Made For You section at the beginning of each year. This playlist is updated every Sunday to reflect your streaming habits. The service also offer stats through its website, and there you can view your top artists, songs, albums, in addition to the number of hours you spent on music. Apple doesn’t make you wait till the end of the year to view them, but they’re not as detailed and rich as Spotify’s.

YouTube Music

Google sent out emails to some YouTube Music users last year around mid December. The email included statistics similar to the ones Apple offers. However, not all users received this email, so the service isn’t as reliable when it comes to that. Google still surfaced a My 2020 Year in Review playlist to users, but it only includes top played songs of the year, excluding any other listening data. It’s unclear when Google will make My 2021 Year in Review available this year, but we can expect it to be around the same time. Once it’s available, you will find it in your app, and it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your email, too. It’s worth noting that it’s not as detailed as Spotify Wrapped either.

Other Services

Not all services offer a yearly summary of your listening habits. If the one you actively use to enjoy music doesn’t, then you can depend on third-party solutions in some cases. Last.fm is a famous and reliable tool that supports several music streaming services. It’ll count your streams the moment you connect an account of yours to it. So if you want to track next year’s stats, connect your favorite service now. Otherwise you’ll have missing data next year. The website — which has iOS and Android apps — supports a variety of popular services, such as TIDAL, Deezer, Pandora, and more. It also offers statistics related to other Last.fm users, such as the most played song worldwide right now and listening habits based on different regions.

What music streaming service do you use, and why? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Google Assistant’s Family Bell feature is now available on mobile https://www.xda-developers.com/google-assistant-family-bell-feature-available-mobile/ https://www.xda-developers.com/google-assistant-family-bell-feature-available-mobile/#respond Wed, 01 Dec 2021 17:00:50 +0000 https://www.xda-developers.com/?p=564801 In August last year, Google rolled out a new Assistant feature called Family Bell. The feature mimicked what kids would experience at school, as it allowed users to set up bell reminders throughout the day for activities like online classes, breaks, and more. The feature was previously only available on Google Assistant on home devices,

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In August last year, Google rolled out a new Assistant feature called Family Bell. The feature mimicked what kids would experience at school, as it allowed users to set up bell reminders throughout the day for activities like online classes, breaks, and more. The feature was previously only available on Google Assistant on home devices, but now it’s finally rolling out on mobile.

To set up Family Bell on your phone, head over the Assistant settings and tap on the new Family Bell option. On the following page, configure a custom Family Bell or pick one of the new suggestions. Once everything’s set up, Google Assistant will play a school bell at the specified time and remind you to tackle your tasks. If you have smart lights, the feature can also be customized to trigger the lights when the school bell goes off. The feature should be available in English for all Google Assistant users in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, and India.

It’s worth noting that the Family Bell feature rolled out with a new Google Assistant action that allowed users to play the sounds of a school hall by saying, “Hey Google, start the school day!” The command also brought up school-themed visuals on smart displays. This feature is already available on mobile devices, and it plays a school bell and other sounds that you’d commonly hear at a school.

In addition to rolling out Family Bell to mobile devices, Google has also released new widgets for Google Play Books, Google Photos, and YouTube Music today. You can learn more about the widgets by heading over to our original coverage from the link above.

Will you be using Google Assistant’s Family Bell feature instead of setting up regular reminders? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Google will expand the permission auto-reset feature to Android 6.0+ devices in 2022 https://www.xda-developers.com/google-expand-permission-auto-reset-feature-android-6-0-devices-2022/ https://www.xda-developers.com/google-expand-permission-auto-reset-feature-android-6-0-devices-2022/#respond Wed, 01 Dec 2021 17:00:37 +0000 https://www.xda-developers.com/?p=564781 Android 12 is the dessert of the season, but that doesn’t mean older versions can’t join in on some of the fun. Android as an OS has been maturing over the past decade, and in a lot of instances, it becomes more important to deliver features to a wider userbase than to bring in new

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Android 12 is the dessert of the season, but that doesn’t mean older versions can’t join in on some of the fun. Android as an OS has been maturing over the past decade, and in a lot of instances, it becomes more important to deliver features to a wider userbase than to bring in new features on a new software version that would take years to propagate. Google is doing the former, as it looks to expand the permission auto-reset feature to Android 6.0 and higher devices with Google Play Services. Today’s announcement pushes the initial rollout promise of December 2021, to January 2022.

What is Permission Auto-Reset?

With Android 11 in 2020, Google introduced a few changes to the runtime permissions model, and its worth taking a look at a quick summary. In Android 10 and below, for “dangerous” permissions (aka permissions with a lot of scope for misuse), apps could request permission once and retain it for as long as the app remained installed or the user manually revoked it or cleared the app data. And it was common for apps to request such permissions even when they needed them for a non-core and optional function. Considering the fact that the average user does not understand the scope of the permissions they granted, and that periodic review of such permissions was not something that most users would do, the end result was that way too many apps had access to way too many permissions even when the app itself was not getting used.

Android 11 introduced One-Time Permissions and Permissions Auto-Reset to tackle this problem. One-Time Permissions are exactly that — they allowed the app access for a very brief period of time, allowing the app to complete its non-core function when the user requested it to. You could still choose to grant permission for a longer period of time if you regularly needed the app to perform this non-core function. Permissions Auto-Reset on the other hand, tackled situations wherein apps that were once granted such permissions for frequent use are no longer being frequently used. If Android detected that the user hasn’t used an app for a while, it will automatically revoke all granted permissions. The app can longer initiate those functions in the background now. When the user uses the app the next time, they will get the opportunity to grant those permissions again.

Android 11 permission auto-revoke

Bringing auto-reset permissions to older OS versions

A few months ago, Google had announced that it will be bringing Android 11’s permission auto-reset feature to all devices running Android 6.0 and above. At the time of the announcement, Google mentioned that the feature will start rolling out to Android 6.0 and above devices that have Google Play Services installed in December 2021. The newsworthy bit for today’s announcement is that the feature begins rolling out next month, January 2022.

From previous announcements, we know that the feature will be enabled by default for apps targeting Android 11 (API level 30) or higher. For apps targeting API levels 23 to 29, users will have to enable it manually from settings. The feature will not apply to Device Administrator apps, and permissions fixed by enterprise policies will also not be revoked. If required, the app developer can also ask the user to disable the auto-reset permission feature. If your app targets API level 30 or above and you wish to ask the user to disable permission auto-reset, then you’ll need to use the new cross-platform API that’s part of the Jetpack Core library —  androidx.core.content.PackageManagerCompat.getUnusedAppRestrictionsStatus() and androidx.core.content.IntentCompat.createManageUnusedAppRestrictionsIntent(). Doing so is helpful for apps that primarily operate in the background, such as a companion app for your smartwatch.

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Google Photos can now automatically curate event memories https://www.xda-developers.com/google-photos-curate-event-memories/ https://www.xda-developers.com/google-photos-curate-event-memories/#respond Wed, 01 Dec 2021 17:00:33 +0000 https://www.xda-developers.com/?p=564987 Google today announced a host of new features making their way to Android users. The company released new widgets for Google Photos, Google Play Books, and YouTube Music, released the Digital car key feature to select Pixel and Samsung Galaxy phones, and also introduced a host of new Android Auto features. On top of that,

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Google today announced a host of new features making their way to Android users. The company released new widgets for Google Photos, Google Play Books, and YouTube Music, released the Digital car key feature to select Pixel and Samsung Galaxy phones, and also introduced a host of new Android Auto features. On top of that, the company has also improved the Memories feature in Google Photos and it can now automatically curate photos and videos from holidays and events.

The new event memories feature joins the recently released frame styles in the Memories widget in Google Photos. Google explains that the feature can automatically curate a selection of phones and videos from holidays like New Year’s Eve and Halloween or important events like birthdays and graduations and displays them in the Memories section in Google Photos.

The new feature also gives users the ability to rename, personalize, correct, or remove these curated event memories. At the moment, it isn’t clear if Google Photos will let you showcase these curated Memories in a widget on your home screen. But we’ll figure that out once the feature starts rolling out to users.

As mentioned earlier, Google has also announced a new widget for Google Photos that allows users to add images of their family or pets to the home screen. The widget will start rolling out to users next week. Furthermore, Google has also brought the Assistant Family Bell feature to mobile devices, released new Android Auto features, and introduced a new security feature that automatically turns off runtime permissions for apps that you haven’t used in a while. You can learn more about these features by following the respective links above.

Do you like the Memories feature in Google Photos? Are you looking forward to the new event memories feature? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Google Photos, Google Play Books, & YouTube Music get more new widgets https://www.xda-developers.com/youtube-music-google-play-books-google-photos-new-widgets/ https://www.xda-developers.com/youtube-music-google-play-books-google-photos-new-widgets/#respond Wed, 01 Dec 2021 17:00:22 +0000 https://www.xda-developers.com/?p=564717 Over the last few weeks, Google has released a host of new widgets for its vast suite of apps. New widgets for Gmail, Google Drive, Google Keep, Google Photos, YouTube Music, and more apps have already made their way over to users. But Google isn’t done releasing new widgets. Today, the company has announced even

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Over the last few weeks, Google has released a host of new widgets for its vast suite of apps. New widgets for Gmail, Google Drive, Google Keep, Google Photos, YouTube Music, and more apps have already made their way over to users. But Google isn’t done releasing new widgets. Today, the company has announced even more new widgets for YouTube Music, Google Play Books, and Google Photos.

In a recent blog post, Google highlighted the new widgets for YouTube Music, Google Play Books, and Google Photos. The new Google Play Books widget gives you easy access to your full library of books right on your phone’s home screen, and it even lets you keep track of your audiobook progress.

The new YouTube Music Widget adds playback controls and recently played tracks on your home screen. We got our first look at the widget in YouTube Music v4.48.51, and it’s now finally rolling out to users. The widget gives you access to playback controls, a like button, and five or ten recently played songs (depending on the widget’s size).

Lastly, Google Photos will also receive a new People & Pets widget next week. The widget will let you add images of your family and pets to your home screen simply by selecting a few faces and an appropriate frame.

According to the blog post, the new YouTube Music and Google Play Books widgets should become available to users starting today. The Google Photos People & Pets widget will start rolling out next week and should reach all users in the following days.

Do you like these new widgets? Which one will you be setting up on your home screen? Let us know in the comments section below.

To learn more about all the other widgets that Google has rolled out of late, check out our previous Android 12 coverage.

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You can now unlock your BMW with your Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, or Galaxy S21 https://www.xda-developers.com/digital-car-key-unlock-bmw-pixel-6-pixel-6-pro-galaxy-s21/ https://www.xda-developers.com/digital-car-key-unlock-bmw-pixel-6-pixel-6-pro-galaxy-s21/#respond Wed, 01 Dec 2021 17:00:11 +0000 https://www.xda-developers.com/?p=564835 At I/O 2021 in May, Google first showcased a new Android 12 feature that would let users unlock their cars with their phones. Back then, the company announced that the feature would make its way to select Pixel and Samsung Galaxy smartphones later this year. As promised, Google is now rolling out Digital car key

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At I/O 2021 in May, Google first showcased a new Android 12 feature that would let users unlock their cars with their phones. Back then, the company announced that the feature would make its way to select Pixel and Samsung Galaxy smartphones later this year. As promised, Google is now rolling out Digital car key support to the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Galaxy S21, along with a couple of other new Android Auto features.

In a recent blog post, Google announced that the Digital car key feature is now available in select countries on the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Galaxy S21. It currently works with a couple of compatible BMW vehicles, but Google will likely add support for cars from more manufacturers soon.

Note that Google’s Digital car key feature is not the same as the Digital Key feature that rolled out to some Samsung devices earlier this year. While the features essentially perform the same actions, Samsung’s solution is only supported the Galaxy S21 Plus, Galaxy S21 Ultra, Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 3, and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and it works with the Genesis GV60 EV only.

Along with Digital car key support, Google is also rolling out a new auto-launch setting. The setting automatically starts Android Auto as soon as you connect your phone to a compatible car. Furthermore, Google is rolling out a new always-on play button on the Android Auto home screen, giving you easy access to your favorite music with just a tap. The company is also introducing a new search icon that lets you start a voice search quickly.

In the coming months, Google plans to roll out yet another Android Auto feature that will let you respond to text messages with one tap using Smart Reply from the Google Assistant.

In today’s announcement, Google also highlighted new widgets for Google Photos, Google Play Books, and YouTube Music. You can learn more about these widgets by clicking the link above.

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Gboard’s Emoji Kitchen gets thousands of new emoji combinations in latest update https://www.xda-developers.com/gboard-emoji-kitchen-new-emoji-combinations/ https://www.xda-developers.com/gboard-emoji-kitchen-new-emoji-combinations/#respond Wed, 01 Dec 2021 17:00:09 +0000 https://www.xda-developers.com/?p=564993 Gboard is one of the best Android keyboards around, especially for people who frequently swap phones. Not only is it a great keyboard app, but it also comes pre-installed on several Android phones, making it easier to get a consistent typing experience right from the get-go. It is also one of the more fun keyboards

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Gboard is one of the best Android keyboards around, especially for people who frequently swap phones. Not only is it a great keyboard app, but it also comes pre-installed on several Android phones, making it easier to get a consistent typing experience right from the get-go. It is also one of the more fun keyboards around, thanks to features like Emoji Kitchen that allow you to merge two emojis into one giant sticker. Google frequently expands the available emojis that can be picked for merging, and today, the company is announcing even more emojis that can be merged, leading to thousands of new emoji combinations.

An exhaustive list of emojis is not available, but some of the notable additions in the update include the wrapped gift box (right in time for the holidays), as well as a bunch of animals including dogs. The latest stickers are rolling out to Gboard Beta users starting today and will be available to all Gboard users in the coming weeks.

If you’re looking for ideas on what great combinations you can create with Emoji Kitchen, Android Authority‘s Rita El Khoury has some fun ideas you should definitely check out:

If you ever wanted to have an emoji sticker of a dog in a birthday party hat, a dog around a Christmas tree, a panda-dog hybrid, or a dog stuck in a tornado — Gboard’s Emoji Kitchen finally has you covered for your most pressing emoji sticker needs.

Emoji Kitchen might seem like a feature that is easy to brush off, but Google has really put in effort in the execution. You just need to place compatible emojis side-by-side and a bunch of suggested combinations will pop up. It’s a surprisingly effective way to hook in users without requiring any massive efforts on their part, making it very convenient to integrate them into your conversations. Especially if you frequently talk about dog-panda hybrids.

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Samsung Galaxy A13 and A03s are coming to the United States, starting at $159 https://www.xda-developers.com/galaxy-a13-galaxy-a03s-united-states/ https://www.xda-developers.com/galaxy-a13-galaxy-a03s-united-states/#respond Wed, 01 Dec 2021 16:45:57 +0000 https://www.xda-developers.com/?p=565149 The United States definitely has a shortage of quality budget phones, especially compared to more competitive markets like India and Europe. Samsung’s low-end Galaxy devices are about as good as you can get in ‘Murica, and now there are two more models coming to the country: the Galaxy A13 and Galaxy A03s. The Galaxy A13

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The United States definitely has a shortage of quality budget phones, especially compared to more competitive markets like India and Europe. Samsung’s low-end Galaxy devices are about as good as you can get in ‘Murica, and now there are two more models coming to the country: the Galaxy A13 and Galaxy A03s.

The Galaxy A13 is the more powerful of the two phones, according to Samsung’s announcement, with a MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset and a price tag of $249.99. The 90Hz screen and sub-6GHz 5G support are somewhat impressive at this price range, but the rest is about what you would expect for a budget phone. Samsung says the A13 will be available starting December 3rd at AT&T and Samsung’s online store, and the phone will be available at T-Mobile sometime in January.

Samsung Galaxy A13 Samsung Galaxy A03s
Specification Samsung Galaxy A13 5G
Build Plastic
Dimensions & Weight
  • 164.5 x 76.5 x 8.8mm
  • 95g
Display
  • 6.5-inch 720 x 1600 LCD
  • 90Hz (Adaptive)
SoC
  • MediaTek Dimensity 700
  • Octa-core (2 x 2.2Ghz + 6 x 2.0Ghz)
RAM & Storage
  • 64GB internal storage
Battery & Charging
  • 5,000 mAh battery
  • 15W wired charging (wall charger not included in box)
Security Side fingerprint sensor
Rear Cameras
  • 50MP (f/1.8) Primary
  • 2MP (f/2.4) Macro
  • 2MP (f/2.4) Depth
Front Camera 5MP (f/2.0)
Ports
  • USB Type-C
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
Audio Single speaker
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • 5G Sub-6GHz
Software Android 11
Other Features NFC support

The Galaxy A03s is also coming to the United States, following its release in other regions earlier this year, with a low price tag of $159. Samsung didn’t share the exact specifications for the US model, probably because the hardware isn’t worth bragging about. The phone in other regions has a MediaTek Helio P35 chipset (which is now four years old!), a 6.5-inch 720p screen, Android 11, and a 5,000mAh battery. The Galaxy A03s will be available from AT&T, T-Mobile, Samsung’s online store, and Verizon starting in January.

Samsung’s main competition, at least in terms of hardware value, will likely be the OnePlus Nord series. The Nord N200 5G is priced $20 less than the Galaxy A13, but also has a 90Hz screen, three rear cameras, a 5,000mAh battery. The N200 uses a Snapdragon 480 chipset instead of the Galaxy A13’s MediaTek chip.

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