The Galaxy A8 received Wi-Fi certification running Android 6.0.1 two months ago, but the device has just started receiving the Marshmallow update. Samsung has started rolling out Android 6.0 update to the Galaxy A8 (SM-A800F) in India.
The update has a file size of 1112.27MB that brings Android 6.0 to the Galaxy A8.Android Marshmallow comes with Google Now on Tap, granular app permission management, Nexus Imprint API for the fingerprint sensor, newer UI design, Doze mode, and some other features.
If you haven’t received the update already, head into the Settings » About device »Software update menu on your Galaxy A8 to start downloading the update. If you’ve installed the update already, let us know about the phone’s performance or any new features that you might spot.
The Galaxy A9 Pro was recently imported to India for testing
with the import listing revealing a 6-inch display on the device. Now, we are getting a look at other specs of the A9 Pro, thanks to a listing on the GFXBench benchmark database.
GFXBench lists the A9 Pro with a 5.5-inch screen, so this might not be the final retail unit that was tested. The device was running Android 6.0.1 when it was bench marked, supporting our speculation that a newer version of Android would be one of the upgrades the A9 Pro would offer over the regular A9. 4GB of RAM and a 16 MP rear camera are the other improvements, but the rest of the major specs remain the same.
These include a Snapdragon 652 chipset
Full HD display resolution, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, and 32GB of internal storage expandable via a microSD slot. We’re guessing the 4,000 mAh battery will be left as it is, as the capacity is already high enough to offer amazing battery endurance.
It’s still unclear when the Galaxy A9 Pro will make an official appearance, though a post-MWC launch is likely (especially since Samsung would want the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge to be the first devices with Android 6.0.1 out of the box). Like the Galaxy A9, the A9 Pro is expected to be exclusive to the Chinese market.
Samsung has made us all wait quite a bit for the Marshmallow update and now it has finally released Android 6.0.1 for the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge in South Korea. The release follows a brief beta test program in which users were allowed to sign up to test beta Marshmallow firmware. We’ve already posted a lot of images of all the interface changes and new features that are included in the Marshmallow update.
It has only released Marshmallow for the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge today but it shouldn’t take too long for the update to arrive for the Galaxy S6 edge+ and the Galaxy Note 5 at least in South Korea. It’s unclear when Samsung is going to roll out the update for other markets. Given that it has started the rollout users in other markets may not have to wait for too long now.
Samsung recently conducted a beta test in which it allowed people with unlocked variants of the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge to test a beta build of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. This beta program was not open to any other Samsung device but that didn’t stop the Marshmallow beta from being sent out by mistake first to a Galaxy Note 4 and then to a Galaxy S5. It appears that this has happened yet again, a lucky user in France has received the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update by mistake on the Galaxy S5.
The security patch date
The security patch date in this release is listed as “1 January 2016,” which indicates that this isn’t a build that’s meant for public release and it possibly may not even be final yet. No other device has received an update as yet with the January security patch. The user received this build on the Galaxy S5 (SM-G900F) over-the-air and we can see from the screenshots that the firmware does look legitimate, it doesn’t appear to be a port of the firmware previously released in the beta test. Samsung has not yet revealed when it’s going to start releasing Android 6.0 Marshmallow for its handsets but many expect that it shouldn’t take more than a couple of months from now.
We’ve noted the changes Samsung would make with Android Marshmallow, such as the further flattening of TouchWiz, and Hungary users are now getting to experience Google’s sweet treat on their Galaxy Note 4. A new YouTube video provided by ardaiaron gives us a sneak peek into what Android Marshmallow is like for fortunate users who get the download.
The smartphone in the video is indeed a Galaxy Note 4,
as can be seen by the aluminum frame around the phone. The aluminum frame added to Samsung’s design was a change from the ribbed faux aluminum design of the Galaxy Note 3 in 2013. Also, as to quell any doubt about the device in question, it features the heart rate monitor that was first implemented on the Galaxy S5; the Galaxy Note 4 was the first Note device to showcase the feature. Ardaiaron has the wallpaper that was first showcased on the Galaxy Note 4 present, and the model number “SM-N910F” for the device proves its identity without question. As you’ll note (pun intended), the Android version says “6.0,” which is the number of the Android Marshmallow update.
Some of the update changes are evident
The square icons have been “rounded,” matching the new icon layout in the Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+, and the Galaxy Note 5. The S Health and Smart Manager icons seem smaller than in previous update versions. There is a new S Pen menu that matches that found on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5, and Samsung also brought along the popular Off Screen Memo feature that gives you the ability to take notes when your screen is black.
Of course, with the build being Android Marshmallow, new changes from Google make their way to the Galaxy Note 4: Google Now On Tap, Doze, customizable app permissions, per app battery stats, and even the beginning of the Easter egg. The problem with the Android 6.0 build lies in the fact that, once you press the “M” to go into the Easter Egg, you end up with the “shrugging arms” expression. If you’ll remember, this was found in the early Developer Preview of Marshmallow; the actual build includes a “harshmallows” feature where the “bugdroid” must jump to avoid killer marshmallows. This doesn’t seem to find its way into the build, leading us to wonder whether this sneak peek is either 1) a Developer Preview or 2) the result of a root of some kind.
In addition to the shrugging arms expression,
Ardaiaron notes that there is lag on his device, apps don’t load in the task manager as they should, and Samsung Cloud stopped operating during the course of the video. With the problems behind the build, it’s more likely that this is a Developer Preview. Time will tell, however, whether or not this is the real deal. At any rate, the Android Marshmallow update for the Galaxy Note 4 isn’t too far off now. If it is legitimate, then the latest leak of Marshmallow for the Galaxy Note 4 was all too genuine.
Impossible is the word many will scream out when they hear this, but it seems Samsung already has Android 6.0 builds ready for the Galaxy Note 4, the company’s most badly treated flagship smartphone ever. The folks over at Napidroid say one of their editors has received the Android 6.0 update on the Galaxy Note 4, and based on our information we can say the firmware build (version N910FXXU1DOL3X) is certainly the real deal.
But we’re inclined to lean towards the possibility that the update was pushed out by mistake, unless Samsung is looking to make up for the poor software support Note 4 owners have seen until now by pushing Marshmallow to the device even before the 2015 lineup of Galaxy flagships. Heck, some regions are still getting Android 5.1.1, so it would be very odd for Samsung to start rolling out Android 6.0 already.
final or not – does seem to bring new features to the Note 4, including the Note 5′s screen-off memo function that lets you start taking notes with the S Pen as soon as you take it out of its slot (though this was already possible through a simple hack.)
Performance is said to have improved as well (though with the multitasking menu lagging now and then), and we also see the new app icons and Air Command menu from the newer version of TouchWiz that debuted on the Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+. There don’t seem to be any other visual changes, and Napidroid doesn’t offer any details on what else is included in the Marshmallow build.
Again, someone at Samsung likely goofed up and made the Android 6.0 build available long ahead of schedule, so don’t start looking at your Galaxy Note 4 all day long in the hopes of getting Marshmallow. It’s not that Samsung isn’t welcome to surprise us, but this just seems too good to be true, especially after the treatment the company’s laggy flagship has gotten since it launched last year.
Samsung recently opened up its S Health app to non-Galaxy smartphones and tablets, and it has now published an update to the app that brings support for Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Android 6.0 is only running on Google’s Nexus phones and the HTC One A9, but it seems Samsung wants to be prepared to support the new version of Android right from the very beginning (or maybe it’s planning to update its devices to Android 6.0 in the very near future, but let’s not get too hopeful.)
The update brings a couple of new features as well, including automated visual tracking of bedtime and wake-up time based on sleep patterns, the ability to search for Bluetooth and ANT+ accessories, and more convenient route guidance when you’re cycling on a selected path. The Play Store doesn’t seem to be showing the update yet, but this should change soon as the newest version of S Health was published on the Galaxy Apps store two days ago.
Grab the update from the Galaxy Apps store if you’re a Samsung device owner, or wait for Samsung to publish it to the Play Store.
Yesterday’s Google event finally brought us the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, the Pixelbook, and the Home Mini/Max but even though the Google fervor is now dying down, there’s still much for Android enthusiasts to look forward to in the coming weeks. The mighty Huawei Mate 10 will soon make its debut on October 16th at a press event in Munich, Germany, and it will be the first public look we will have on Huawei’s upcoming EMUI 6 based on Android 8.0 Oreo. Ahead of this event, we have obtained access to a pre-release firmware build of Android Oreo/EMUI 6 for the Huawei Mate 9, and there are quite a few interesting changes to note for this upcoming update.
The Huawei Mate 9 was unveiled in only November of last year with top-tier hardware specifications, so it’s unsurprising to see this device receive an Android Oreo update. There were hints of early work being done on an Android 8.0 update even as far back as April of this year, though the build that was leaked at that time was fairly barebones. Now, the build that we have obtained is fully functional and can actually install right on top of MHA-L29C432 (the international Huawei Mate 9 variant) so we did just that to start digging in to what’s new in the EMUI 6 update.
EMUI 6 based on Android Oreo for the Huawei Mate 9
The Things You Would Expect
For starters, let’s get the uninteresting details out of the way. As you would expect, most of the required Android Oreo features are available in this build. That means picture-in-picture mode support, the strict background app limitations, notification channels, and even that annoying “app is running in the background” notification that you can thankfully still hide using an app.
We should note that although Huawei implemented notification channels, their notification importance controls is actually a holdover from EMUI 5 and not based on the AOSP version that you may be familiar with. I see this as a boon because it means you don’t need a third-party app to bring back notification importance controls for apps that don’t target Android Oreo.
EMUI 6 Updates
Here is where things get a little bit more interesting. Overall, I would say there aren’t many changes between EMUI 5 and EMUI 6 on the surface, but there are a few new software additions that should make some people happy.
First up, there is a new “screen resolution” option in display settings. This builds upon EMUI 5’s dynamic screen resolution feature called “smart resolution” (which is also present in EMUI 6). While smart resolution would automatically switch between 720p and 1080p in order to conserve power, this new option allows you to manually change between the two resolutions. This method likely beats using the ADB “wm size” command, as that ADB command only adjusts the virtual resolution rather than actually having the display render at a lower resolution.
Next, there is a new button that can be placed on the navigation bar. When the button is enabled, it adds a small arrow to the left side of the navigation bar. Pressing this button will temporarily hide the navigation bar until you swipe up from the bottom. For those of you who like having the stock navigation bar but want to occasionally make use of the full-screen real estate on-demand, this new button beats the ADB command that permanently hides the navigation bar or enables immersive mode. This button isn’t technically new as it is present on the Chinese Huawei Mate 9 firmware, but it’s new to the international variant.
If you aren’t a fan of the software navigation bar, then there is another new navigation option available for you to try. It’s called navigation dock and what it does is it places a movable floating button that can replace the navigation bar for all back, home, or recent button presses. This is distinct from EMUI 5’s “floating dock” as that feature acted like a pseudo-pie control wherein pressing the button would expand a list of available navigation options. EMUI 6’s navigation dock instead uses gesture controls such as slide up to go home, slide right for recents, and touch to go back.
Lastly, in developer options, there is something strange that we found. The usual Bluetooth audio codec customization features are present, as is the ability to switch between various Bluetooth audio codecs—including aptX and aptX HD. aptX and aptX HD are proprietary Bluetooth audio codecs that are owned by Qualcomm, so companies that wish to use them must pay licensing fees to Qualcomm.
We’re not sure why Huawei even made it a selectable option as it doesn’t even work here (picking either of these options simply reverts the selection back to SBC), but then again this is a pre-release build so it’s possible these options will disappear in the final release. Perhaps with root access and a Magisk Module we can enable support for it much like Google Nexus 6P owners can.
You might be wondering by this point why we haven’t yet shown a screenshot of the “About Phone” section. That’s because, like every beta/testing build that Huawei releases internally, the software version is changed to mitigate leaks. Fortunately, it’s rather easy to verify the true software build by taking a peek at the build.prop file. In it, we can see that the following:
and from a separate command, we can find the Linux kernel version
Linux version 4.4.23+(android@localhost)(gcc version 4.9.x 20150123(prerelease)(GCC))#1 SMP PREEMPT Thu Sep 14 04:10:43 CST 2017
So, it’s pretty clear from this information that the Huawei Mate 9 build we have obtained is indeed based on Android 8.0 Oreo (SDK level 26). The Linux kernel version is 4.4, updated from 4.1 in the Nougat-based EMUI 5 on the Mate 9. Furthermore, the security patch level is September 2017 which means that the Mate 9 is safe from the Blueborne vulnerability.
Finally, there are a few things we discovered that are especially interesting to Android enthusiasts. First, Project Treble support is there. Though the kernel sources for the Mate 9 have been available for several months, there aren’t any custom AOSP-based ROMs available for the device. Maybe Project Treble support will change that, maybe not. This is still interesting as it is the first confirmed device that has Project Treble support even though it did not launch with Android Oreo.
Last but not least, here’s a thing that nobody expected to happen: Substratum support in EMUI. Yes, Substratum themes work on EMUI 6. This is all thanks to the Overlay Manager Service (OMS) commits that Sony made to AOSP that have finally made their way in a fully working state in Android Oreo. It’s thanks to this that Google Nexus and Pixel users are able to enjoy full custom theme support using the Andromeda add-on for Substratum. We tested both the command line interface as well as a dark theme in certain apps and can confirm it does indeed work.
Project Treble Support
Substratum support may not seem as interesting at first glance since Huawei already has its own theme engine, but it should be noted that Substratum will allow you to theme more than just system applications as can be seen in the above screenshot of the Google Messenger application.
That’s all we’ve discovered in this internal, beta build of Android 8.0 Oreo for the Huawei Mate 9. Stay tuned to the XDA Portal as we have more to share about upcoming Huawei and Honor devices. The best way to follow the Portal is by installing the XDA Labs application!
The firmware was discovered by FunkyHuawei.club, a service which lets you install pre-release Huawei firmwares, recover bricked devices, and rebrand/convert China region phones to international variants. The service will support the Mate 10 upon release.
Images have leaked for the Huawei Maimang 6 Android phone in three different colors, including Black, Blue, and what appears to be a Gold color option. Worth noting is that these are just dummy phones, which you will often see inside retail stores or at mall kiosks for wireless carriers. They show off the phone design but don’t have any of the internal components, which means the phones don’t power on, can’t be interacted with, and are essentially just an outside shell. Despite all that though they still do a good job at showing you what the phone looks like.
Even though these aren’t real models of the device that Huawei will be launching for consumers, the images show off the device from every angle needed to get the full picture of the device’s design, and the images do match up with previous leaks of the phone which also showed off the phone design. You get another close up look at the back of each phone, where you can see Huawei has gone with a sort matte look for the colors. The Mang 6 will come with a dual camera module and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, both of which are lined up with the center of the phone.
While many manufacturers seem to be getting rid of the 3.5mm audio port these days, Huawei has kept it on the Mang 6 it seems and it’s located on the bottom which is where you will also find the charging port, though it is micro USB and not USB Type-C. The speaker for the phone is also bottom-firing, and looking at the phone from the front Huawei has used dual front-facing cameras as well, giving this phone four camera sensors total, something which is much less common for smartphones. The phone is supposed to be announced at an event Huawei is having on September 22nd, which is this Friday, and it’s rumored to come running on Android 7.0 Nougat, though at this time there aren’t any rumored price points for this device. The Maimang 6 will more than likely be released in China only but it is possible that Huawei could launch it in some international markets.
Earlier this month, LG announced its quirky V20 smartphone would be the first to ship with the latest Android 7.0 Nougat operating system, beating the upcoming Nexus refreshes to the nougat-y punch. Now we know the dual-screen, dual-selfie camera successor to the V10 will officially be unveiled in San Francisco on September 6, 2016.
Although LG has yet to share many details about the new phone’s features, we do know it will be once again sporting dual displays: a main 5.7-inch display, plus a second, always-on ribbon display at the top for notifications and quick app access. In practice, Engadget found the V10’s second screen to be one of the best implementations to date, with easy access to audio controls or a quick glance at an email subject line. Other features, like those two front-facing cameras seemed like overkill for anyone who doesn’t need two lens options when shooting a selfie.
As for the rest of the internals, those details will land next month, when we expect the V20 to start retailing around the same $600 price point as its predecessor.