How to turn the Samsung Galaxy S10’s hole-punch into a battery indicator

Some might argue that the notch is a more disruptive experience than the hole-punch cutout used in the Samsung Galaxy S10. Some might disagree and say that the cutout is actually more discreet. Which is better is a debate we’ll have to have another day, but in the meantime, since we can’t really change anything, why not just embrace it in its entirety?
That’s what developer IJP has tried to do with the launch of a new app called the Energy Ring. What this app does is that it creates a ring-shaped battery indicator that positions itself very nicely around the circular cutout of the Galaxy S10. This means that at a glance, users will be able to see how much battery their phone has left, with the ring changing colors depending on the battery percentage that remains.

We have to say that this is a very clever idea, although in a way it does actually draw more attention to the hole rather than hide it, but then again since it’s already there, why not make use of it, right? The app currently only supports the Galaxy S10e and the Galaxy S10, but support for the Galaxy S10+ and its dual front-facing cameras will be coming in a later update.
The app itself is free but there are some in-app purchases that you can pay money to unlock for deeper customization options. Alternatively, if you don’t think that the app is all that useful, you can check out some of the clever uses of wallpaper that hide/blends the hole in a variety of fun and imaginative ways.
Source: Android Police

Gmail’s Smart Compose rolling out to non-Pixel devices

Smart Compose is a feature in Gmail that uses machine learning to figure out what you want to say before you write it. Basically it’s just a word prediction feature, and on a computer it allows you to hit “Tab” to fill in sentences as you’re writing them. It’s a great feature and relatively accurate, though it can be quite a bit off sometimes. Thankfully it’s purely optional and even when enabled is entirely unobtrusive.
The feature also resided on mobile, but it was exclusive to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. You would use a swipe gesture to fill in sentences much like the web version of Gmail. However, Google is now rolling this feature out to other devices outside of Google’s own.
I’ve already received the feature on my Huawei Mate 20 Pro and though it’s a bit slow, it works just as well as it does on a computer. The swipe gesture is easy and if you don’t want to use it, it doesn’t get in the way. This is likely a server side roll out so you may need to give it a few days before your devices get this feature. You’ll need to be running Gmail version 9.2.3 and wait for the prompt telling you to give it a try. And if you want to disable it, head to Settings > your account > Smart Compose.
Source: XDA-Developers

Chrome for Android updated to fix major security bug

It looks like Google Chrome for Android is facing a major security bug, and Google has already rolled the fix out. This browser exploit relates to the FileReader API and can allow a site to execute native code on your device.
Though Google has not released the details of this security flaw, the company says that the exploit already exists in the wild so people are potentially at risk. Therefore you should head to the Play Store and update Chrome as soon as you can.
This problem also exists in other versions of Chrome, like those on PC. You should check for updates across all of your devices, though your desktop browser should update automatically.
Google will release the full details of this exploit once most people have updated the browser but for now we’ll just have to settle for a quick fix. However, the issue may still exist in other Chromium-based browsers so beware. We’re just happy to see Google being so active in fixing security flaws.
Source: Google Chrome Blog
Via: Android Police

You can now ‘try’ the Samsung Galaxy S10 virtually before buying it

The Samsung Galaxy S10 will be released soon and the entire lineup has pretty much found their way into stores around the world, giving would-be customers a way to try the phone before deciding whether or not to buy it. In case you can’t get to a store to check it out for yourself, Samsung has come up with an alternative method.
The company has recently launched a new app called Experience. This app will allow users to “try” out various features of the Galaxy S10 virtually on their own devices. Now, this app won’t magically turn your phone into a Galaxy S10, and admittedly this won’t be quite the same as holding the phone in your hands and tapping on its beautiful and vivid display and taking some test shots on its camera. It should, however, give you a very rudimentary idea of what to expect.
In a way, you could consider this app as being a super extended trailer/walk-through of all the main features that you can expect from the phone, such as its display, its in-display fingerprint sensor, the capabilities of its camera, and also its reverse wireless charging feature.
The app itself is rather sizeable at 2GB so you might want to clear out some space on your phone if you’re running low. Also take note that while Samsung claims that the app is optimized for the Galaxy S9/S9+ and Note 9, it should still work on most Android devices. If you’re interested in checking out the app, it is available for download via the Google Play Store.
Source: PhoneArena

What’s New to Netflix December 2018

Like every other month, Netflix is adding quite a bit more content this December. There are dozens of original Netflix TV shows and movies being added to the catalog, including Andy Serkis’ Mowgli Legend of the Jungle, an Ellen Degeneres stand-up special (her first in 15 years), Springsteen on Broadway and a Bill Murray documentary. In addition to new Netflix originals, you’ll be entertained with high-profile movies and shows from other studios, including Avengers: Infinity War (December 25th) and other notable titles like The Big Lebowski, District 9, Shaun of the Dead, 8 Mile, and The Last Dragon (Sho’nuff!).
Below are a few of our favorite shows and movies coming to Netflix in December, followed by the complete list of everything that will be making its Netflix debut during the month.

December 1st

8 Mile
Astro Boy Battle– NETFLIX FILM
Bride of Chucky
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Crossroads: One Two Jaga– NETFLIX FILM
Friday After Next
Man vs Wild with Sunny Leone: Season 1
Meet Joe Black
Memories of the Alhambra (Streaming Every Saturday)– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
My Bloody Valentine
Next Friday
Reindeer Games
Seven Pounds
Shaun of the Dead
Terminator Salvation
The Big Lebowski
The Great British Baking Show: Masterclass: Season 5 Masterclasses
The Last Dragon
The Man Who Knew Too Little

December 2nd

The Lobster

December 3rd

Blue Planet II: Season 1
The Sound of Your Heart: Reboot Season 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

December 4th

District 9

December 6th

Happy!: Season 1

December 7th

5 Star Christmas– NETFLIX FILM
Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle– NETFLIX FILM
Nailed It! Holiday!– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
ReMastered: Who Killed Jam Master Jay?– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Super Monsters and the Wish Star– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
The Hook Up Plan (Plan Coeur)– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

December 9th

Sin senos sí hay paraíso: Season 3

December 10th

Michael Jackson’s This Is It

December 11th


December 12th

Back Street Girls: Gokudols (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)

December 13th
Wanted: Season 3 (NETFLIX ORIGINAL)
December 14th

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Cuckoo: Season 4– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Dance & Sing with True: Songs– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Fuller House: Season 4– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Inside the Real Narcos– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons: Season 3– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Prince of Peoria: A Christmas Moose Miracle– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Travelers: Season 3– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Voltron: Legendary Defender: Season 8– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

December 16th

Baby Mama
Kill the Messenger
One Day
Springsteen on Broadway– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
The Theory of Everything

December 18th

Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Terrace House: Opening New Doors: Part 5– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

December 21st

3Below: Tales of Arcadia– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Greenleaf: Season 3
Sirius the Jaeger– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski– NETFLIX FILM
Tales by Light: Season 3– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

December 24th

The Magicians: Season 3

December 25th

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown: Season 11
Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War

December 26th

Alexa & Katie: Season 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

December 28th

La noche de 12 años– NETFLIX FILM
When Angels Sleep– NETFLIX FILM

December 30th

The Autopsy of Jane Doe

December 31st

The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned From a Mythical Man

Google’s Allo will officially shut down next Spring

With the recent news that Google will be eventually be migrating Hangouts classic users to Hangouts Chat, the company has decided to put a date on the shutdown of Allo. The service will be operational until March of 2019, giving users a bit more than three months to export their data and find a replacement messaging app.
Google launched Allo a few years back with a lot of fan fair. The company pitched the service as an alternative to WhatsApp, tying it to the user’s phone number without needing a Google account. Allo offered end-to-end encryption, special capabilities with the built-in Google Assistant and dozens of other features which made it quite compelling. Despite Google’s best efforts, Allo never really caught on, topping out t roughly 50 million active users. While that number is quite bit, it pales in comparison to the 1 billion or more users that rely on WhatsApps, Facebook Messenger and other messaging platforms.
There is no direct replacement for Allo, but Google is urging those who still use the service to check out Android Messages. Many of the developers from the Allo team have been moved over and are now working to integrate some of the best features from Allo into Android Messages. The app comes pre-installed on quite a few Android devices as the default SMS app and is fully compatible with RCS.
“We’re excited by the progress we’ve made with our communications experience over the past few years, and ready to take what we’ve learned from Allo and put it to work to make Messages even better. And by refocusing on Messages and Duo for consumers and Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet for team collaboration, we’re focused on delivering a simpler and more unified communications experience for all of you.”
Google’s messaging strategy has been a bit jumbled over the past few years. We’re not sure that shutting down Allo will make things any better, but it’s nice to see that Google is still working to find the right solution for a single messaging platform.
Source: Google

Hangouts product lead confirms ‘eventual shut down of Hangouts’

A few days back, news broke that Google plans to shut down Hangouts sometime in 2020. While Google typically doesn’t comment on rumors, Scott Johnston (Hangouts product lead) took to Twitter to clear the air. Johnston iterated that Hangouts doesn’t yet have an end date, but noted that Hangouts classic (that’s what Google is calling Hangouts internally) users will be migrated to Hangouts Chat and Meet before the product is shut down. From there, Johnston went on a short rant with four additional Tweets to defend Hangouts Chat and its appeal beyond the enterprise realm.
Phandroid’s Take
While we appreciate Scott Johnston jumping in to add some additional context to the conversation, it does look like Google is planning to pull the plug on Hangouts classic. This is not at all surprising given the lack of attention the service has gotten over the past year or so. Transitioning users to Hangouts Chat and Meet may be a good alternative, but the general public might be better served if Google gave them an easy way to transition to Android Messages and find a way to integrate that service directly into Gmail.
I have used Hangouts Chat quite a bit with a few different G Suite accounts. The service is quite capable and a step up when compared to Hangouts classic, but it lacks the appeal and that bit of flare that you get with consumer-focused messaging products like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and even Google’s own Allo. For the sake of simplicity, I think Google needs to draw a hard line between its consumer and enterprise messaging platforms to that they can deliver the features which will make each service truly shine.

2/ So while that will result in the eventual shut down of Hangouts classic (as we now call it), it doesn’t imply we are ending support for the use case supported by the product: messaging and meetings.
— Scott Johnston (@happyinwater) December 1, 2018

4/ But this isn’t just true with Google Apps, it is true across the market. Line supports both businesses and consumers. As does Facebook Messenger. Dropbox. Even Teams recently opened to consumers. I could go on.
— Scott Johnston (@happyinwater) December 1, 2018

6/ But these are subjective points, and they are my products, so I’m strongly biased. In the end, neither you, nor I will make this judgement. Our users will. Everything else is just talk. /FIN
— Scott Johnston (@happyinwater) December 1, 2018

Google to pull the plug on Hangouts in 2020

If you’re still using Google Hangouts, you should start looking for an alternative over the coming months. According to a source who’s familiar with the Hangouts internal roadmap, Google is planning on pulling to plug on the messaging platform sometime in 2020. The service hasn’t received any updates in more than a year and Google itself has already mentioned that Hangouts would be repurposed as an enterprise messaging service for its G Suite customers as Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet.
While Google doesn’t have a direct replacement for Hangouts, the planned shutdown of the platform isn’t surprising. For the past few years, Google has been leading the charge on RCS which is the replacement for MMS service that’s offered by nearly every service provider around the globe. Android Messages is likely what Google plans to use as its direct Hangouts replacement once the new Chat feature which will allow many of the same features that are built into Hangouts and allow you to send and receive messages on your phone and computer.

Hangouts was never the perfect chat service, but it did become the default platform for millions who relied heavily on Android and Gmail since the service was built into Gmail on the web. While I personally still use Hangouts as my main messaging platform to communicate with friends, family and co-workers, it may finally be time to find a replacement messaging service. Most other platforms have evolved way beyond what Hangouts has to offer, but it’ll be hard living with an alternative service which doesn’t allow you to search through years of archived messages or quickly find images which were sent to you and automatically stored in Google Photos.
Source: 9to5Google

YouTube adds 99 movies for you to watch for free

There are a lot of reasons to love YouTube. It’s the best place on the web to find user-generated content and music videos, but Google is slowly transforming YouTube into a place for you to find and consume mainstream content. While YouTube has been offering movie rentals for several years now, the company has just added a collection of 99 movies which can be watched for free. Of course, like all things “free” from Google, you’ll be subjected to unskippable commercial interruptions from time to time while you enjoy these flicks. If you’re a YouTube Premium subscriber, you’ll be able to enjoy the free movies without any ad interruptions. For now, it looks like the free movies may only be available in the US, but please let us know if you are able to view them in other markets as well.
The list of movies ranges from the original Rocky movies, The Terminator, Hackers, The Man in the Iron Mask to B-list flicks like The Woods, Monsters Beware and A Guy Thing. Scanning through the list, there are at least 20 titles that I’d be interested in watching. It’s not clear if YouTube will be adding additional titles to its free movie collection of it this is simply an experiment to see if they can generate more revenue with ads than they could by renting the movies for $2-3 each. If the list of free movies does grow over time, it definitely adds a lot more value to the YouTube Premium subscriptions.
You can take a look at the full free movie collection here. If you’re not a YouTube Premium subscriber already, would you consider joining if YouTube adds new free movies each month?
Source: YouTube

27 temporarily free and 26 on-sale apps and games to kick off the weekend

Friday is here! Another week is coming to a close, so that means it’s time for one more round of app sales. Today’s list features some notable games (and even an app), including a few Asmodee titles and the recently-launched Teslagrad.
Liveno Chat Pro $5.49 -> Free; Sale ends in 5 hours
Learn French with MosaLingua $4.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 2 days
APN Notificator $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 5 days
Betting Doctor $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 6 days
EJuice Calculator $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 7 days
Zenge $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 5 hours
Freelancer Simulator Inc : Game Dev Money Clicker $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 2 days
Raiders in my pocket $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 2 days
Beneath the Basement $0.99 -> Free; Sale ends in 3 days
Football Challenger – League $2.49 -> Free; Sale ends in 3 days
Dr. Read More27 temporarily free and 26 on-sale apps and games to kick off the weekend was written by the awesome team at Android Police.