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News  Industry
ZTE US Android ban

Trade War

Things turned sour very quickly following US President Donald Trumps sanctions on Chinese goods and services.

The impact on the mobile industry could be far reaching, since Android is enjoying a 78% global market share on handsets. Fearing losing economic power to China, the Trump administration said the measures were a response to a 7-month investigation into Chinese "unfair practices", including spying, hacking and what amounted to the extortion of US companies in order to gain access to the Chinese market.

Concern over an imminent trade war sent the Dow jones 700 points down on the news.

Many Chinese handsets use their own variation of the "pure" AOSP Android source tree without any Google services, such as Google Play and Maps. However, these are rarely seen outside China where a handset lacking such support is a difficult sell.

News  Platforms
Android P dev preview

It's time for P

So the Android P dev preview is here, and I've had a little play to see what's new. I did this bearing in mind, as usual, these are aimed at brave developers only, who most definitely are not scared of the odd bug or two they might encounter. They also must happen to have a spare Pixel handset lying around if they want it on hardware, with the rest of us having to make do with the emulator ;-) In the end I didn't encounter anything serious, and in fact found it pretty stable and usable.

Google are calling this an alpha build, and the roadmap is expected to deliver the final release "Q318". They publish a list of known issues and make it easy for developers to file P related bugs.

To get the Android P preview on your Pixel, follow the installation guide. The emulator is much easier - just fire up a current Android Studio, create a new emulator and at the "Platform" prompt you should see "Android P" appear as an option now that Google have made it available on their servers.

News  Platforms
Android P

Release date rumors

As usual, Google will release a developer preview of the next version of Android well ahead of the final version in order to let developers get their apps ready for it from the get-go. This pattern hasn't always been the case, but a couple of years back they let it be known that the aim is to stabilize releases annually.

As eyes turn to another upcoming Google I/O, talk of the next developer preview for Android P is heating up, since the previews for Android N and O both arrived in March. Evan Blass - renowned for his accurate predictions - has Tweeted he expects the date to be released then, too.

The speculation over exactly what the "P" will stand for has hardly begun.

However, it is interesting to note that Wednesday 14th March is Pi day - called because it's on 03/14/2018. A lovely day for an announcement, don't you think?

News  Handsets & Devices
RED Hydrogen One

The $1200 Android handset (and that's the budget version)

Known for their high-end cameras which totally disrupted the film industry, RED are hoping to do the same to the world of mobile with an incredibly ambitious new smartphone - and a price tag to match.

The device comes in two versions - a titanium shell enclosed one at just $1600, or a regular aluminium one at $1200, and the website says those prices are for a limited time only. Both have a 5.7" “Hydrogen holographic display” which promises to let you see holographic RED Hydrogen 4-View content, 3D content, and 2D/3D virtual reality and augmented reality content. No glasses or headsets are required - this breakthrough has been achived using nanotechnology tech and super smart software. It's not just the display which is special either - the audio is touted as "multi-dimensional", using a proprietary H3O algorithm giving  "5.1 on your headphones".