OnePlus 5 OxygenOS 4.5.5 update brings Wi-Fi, calling + video improvements

OnePlus continues to push ahead with incremental updates for its new flagship phone.

OnePlus has today started rolling out yet another software update for the OnePlus 5. The upgrade to OxygenOS 4.5.5 takes care of a handful of remaining bugs, while making improvements to areas like Wi-Fi performance, video recording, battery life and call quality — as the official changelog shows:

Optimizations:

  • Further improvements to Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Clearer voice calling
  • Video recording now consumes less battery
  • Vibration intensity when receiving calls is now tuned to a gentler level

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed Wi-Fi signal consistently being displayed as weak
  • Fixed certain apps not able to work under IPv6 network settings
  • To restore connectivity to a Windows 10 PC, please turn off USB debugging prior to the upgrade

For what it’s worth, there’s no mention of the “jelly scrolling” effect that some OnePlus 5 owners are noticing, which is understood to be a hardware characteristic and won’t be addressed in software.

The update won’t be available on all OnePlus 5 phones right away — instead, OnePlus is doing its usual staged rollout thing, where a small percentage get the update on day one, before the floodgates are opened sometime later. For the impatient among us, the old VPN trick (using an app like Opera VPN or TunnelBear) to switch to a Canadian IP address will allow you to get in on the first wave of downloads for this version.

Updating your OnePlus 5 today? Let us know how you’re getting on down in the comments!

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Nokia is once again partnering with Zeiss to make its cameras stand out

Nokia is teaming up with Zeiss to deliver the “ultimate imaging experience possible on a smartphone.”

Nokia’s lengthy collaboration with Zeiss resulted in some of the best cameras in the smartphone segment (RIP Lumia 1020), and that partnership is kicking off once again. HMD Global — the company with the exclusive rights to Nokia’s brand name — has announced that it has signed an exclusive partnership with Zeiss to deliver the “ultimate imaging experience possible on a smartphone” and set “new imaging standards within the smartphone industry.”

Nokia teamed up with Zeiss over a decade ago, bringing several innovations to this industry, including the first multi-megapixel mobile phone, PureView, and more. By rekindling its partnership, Nokia is looking to once again raise the bar for smartphone cameras:

With a joint ambition to advance the quality of the total imaging experience on smartphones spanning the entire ecosystem from software, services, through to screen quality, and optic design, the partnership will see ZEISS and HMD Global co-develop standard-defining imaging capabilities and will bring the ZEISS brand back to Nokia smartphones.

From Arto Nummela, CEO of HMD Global:

Collaborating with ZEISS is an important part of our commitment to always deliver the very best experience for our customers. Our fans want more than a great smartphone camera, they want a complete imaging experience that doesn’t just set the standard but redefines it. Our fans expect it and, together with ZEISS, we’re delivering it – co-developed imaging excellence for all.

The Nokia phones that already made their debut this year — the Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and the Nokia 6 — are aimed at the budget segment, and it looks like the Zeiss optics will be reserved for Nokia’s oft-rumored flagship, the Nokia 9. Earlier leaks showed off two dual 13MP cameras at the back, and Nokia alluded the same in a tweet announcing the partnership with Zeiss:

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It’ll certainly be interesting to see what comes out of Nokia’s renewed partnership with Zeiss, considering camera quality is a key differentiator in the high-end segment.

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Moto E4 Plus with 5000mAh battery is landing in India on July 12

The Moto E4 Plus promises two-day battery life and an unencumbered software experience.

India is a key market for Motorola, and the brand isn’t wasting any time in launching its latest products in the country. After debuting the Moto C series last month, the manufacturer is set to introduce the Moto E4 Plus in the country on July 12.

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The standard variant of the Moto E4 comes with a 2800mAh battery, but the E4 Plus offers a massive 5000mAh battery that should easily last two days on a full charge. Other specs include a 5.5-inch Full HD display, MediaTek MT6737 chipset with four Cortex A53 cores, 3GB of RAM, 16GB storage, 13MP rear camera, and a 5MP front shooter.

The phone will be available through Flipkart, and we’ll have to wait until July 12 to learn how much it costs. There are several great devices in this segment, but Motorola’s focus on an uncluttered software experience combined with two-day battery life make the Moto E4 Plus an enticing option. What do you think will be the pricing of Motorola’s upcoming phone in India?

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OnePlus still wants you to care about the OnePlus 5’s DxOMark score

OnePlus 5’s DxOMark score is about to be revealed, but the phone maker is in a tough spot.

Back in May, before we knew what the OnePlus 5 looked like or whether its camera was a double, the company boasted of a partnership with DxOMark, a popular camera testing platform that companies like OnePlus (and HTC, Samsung, LG, and others) like to use as a way to promote their optical prowess.

Here’s what OnePlus said about the partnership at the time:

We’re happy to announce that we have teamed up with DxO to enhance your photography experience with our upcoming flagship, the OnePlus 5. DxO is perhaps most well-known for creating the defining photography benchmark, the DxOMark. They’ve got years of imaging experience and expertise, both for professional cameras and for smartphones.

Working alongside DxO, we’re confident the OnePlus 5 will be capable of capturing some of the clearest photos around.

Well, the phone’s June 20 announcement and release came and went, and nary a peep was heard from OnePlus or DxOMark about the so-called partnership. At the same time, we know a lot about the dual camera setup and have pitted the OnePlus 5 against incumbents like the Galaxy S8 and current DxO leader, the HTC U11, and it doesn’t fare so well.

Still, OnePlus has two things to lean on: further improvements to the camera through software updates and a high score from DxOMark, which should be coming soon, according to the company’s Facebook page.

http://ift.tt/2tNjKgS

There are two possible scenarios from this impending announcement: either OnePlus will score higher than the HTC U11’s current score of 90 and top the charts, putting into question all of our subjective and objective remarks on the company’s 16-megapixel shooter, or the phone will earn a decent-but-not-great score, likely 86 or 87, which would put it on the same level as the Huawei P10 or iPhone 7. The second result is more desirable, but it also wouldn’t look great on OnePlus, since the company went out of its way to optimize its camera setup for DxOMark’s test suite.

Of course, even the most stringent test suites have an element of subjectivity to them, since we all enjoy different visual aspects of camera sensors, lenses, and the software that powers them. But as with devices like the Google Pixel, it’s fairly easy to assert that its low-light performance is objectively better than most, if not all other phones on the market and that the HTC U11 does a fantastic job taking photos in almost any lighting condition.

Unfortunately, at this point in the game, as good as the camera can be, it would be hard to assert the same thing about the OnePlus 5.

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Limited-edition MrMobile t-shirt available now!

Show the world that you appreciate informative, entertaining technology reviews by picking up the ultimate t-shirt for the discerning gadget enthusiast. This Next Level Tri-Blend premium tee is available in black, and will announce to the world that you’re a tech genius on the move, sporting the best in both electronics and fashion.

Proceeds from sales help to support the Mr. Mobile YouTube Channel. The limited-edition official Mr. Mobile “Stay Mobile, My Friends” t-shirt is available right now from teespring.com. Grab one before this offer ends! …and Stay Mobile.

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EU considers yet another record fine for Google, this time over Android’s anti-competitive terms

The EU and Google continue to battle over antitrust allegations.

Google may be facing yet another decision in an antitrust investigation in the EU, according to a new report by Reuters, including a fine that could exceed $2.7 billion. The news comes just a few days after the EU finalized a record-setting $2.7 billion fine over Google’s practices involving shopping ads in search. It serves to reason, then, that a fine for something as large as terms of licensing Android would surely be larger than one for a certain part of search results.

The EU is reportedly forming a special panel of experts to further investigate Google’s practices around licensing the Android operating system to manufacturers, which it claims is anti-competitive in nature. If this discussion sounds familiar, it’s because it actually stems from an investigation into the matter back in April 2016. Discussions about Google abusing its market dominance have been around much longer that that.

The ongoing fight over Android licensing in the EU may finally lead to financial damages.

EU regulators claim that Google’s terms for licensing Android, which require a specific set of Google apps to be loaded on the phone and prevent manufacturers from making Android devices without Google’s services, are anti-competitive and ultimately hurt companies. Google’s argument, naturally, is that those manufacturers are free to make phones using the open-source build of Android and their own services if they choose to do so. In contrast with other antitrust regulations, like those here in the U.S., the EU doesn’t necessarily need to show an abuse of monopoly power in order to levy a fine — as it has shown in prior cases.

Reports claim that the European Commission could reach a decision on the matter by the end of the year. Aside from yet another massive fine, it could also potentially force Google to change the terms of licensing Android in order to fall within the EU’s demands for competition in the mobile space. Given recent decisions against Google, the possibility of another such decision doesn’t seem so far-fetched anymore.

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Android Security Bulletin: Everything you need to know

Fixing the latest bugs and exploits in Android every month.

Google has detailed the latest Android Security Bulletin and released the fixes for Nexus and Pixel devices.

These are exploits and other security concerns that affect Android as a whole. Issues with the operating system, kernel patches, and driver updates may not affect any particular device, but these need to be fixed in the Android base by the folks maintaining the operating system code. That means Google, and they’ve detailed the things they have improved for this month.

Updated factory images for Pixel and Nexus devices that are supported are available, and over-the-air updates are rolling out to users. If you don’t want to wait, you can download and flash the factory image or OTA update file manually, and here are some handy instructions to get you started.

How to manually update your Nexus or Pixel

The company who made your phone uses these patches to send an update out to you.

These changes have been released to the people making Android phones for at least 30 days, but Google can’t force anyone to deliver them to you. If you’re using a phone from Samsung, LG, or anyone besides Google, you’ll need to wait for them to send an update and shouldn’t try to flash any of the above files.

Of course, Google has safety checks in place to prevent any problems on your phone because of any security exploits. Verify Apps and SafetyNet are at work anytime you add an app to your phone, and seamless updates to Google Play Services will keep them up to date regardless of any hold up from a manufacturer or carrier. Details and incident numbers can be found in the yearly Android Security Review (.pdf file).

Highlights for July 2017

July 2017’s update comes with two patch dates: 07/01/2017 and 07/05/2017.

  • An issue in the Android runtime that could enable remote code execution has been patched.
  • Over 20 issues that could allow remote code execution through the media libraries have been patched, with some changes going back to Android 4.4.
  • Qualcomm has patched numerous escalation of privilege issues in the Snapdragon platform. These include both closed source and open source changes. The closed source changes are available from Qualcomm for your device manufacturer to implement as needed.
  • NVIDIA, MediaTek, HTC, and Broadcom have also supplied patched device drivers for a range of issues rated from low to moderate. Any of these binaries that are applicable to Nexus or Pixel devices are available at the Google Developer site.

If you get an update with a patch date of 07/05/2017, you also have every issue addressed by the 07/01/2017 update in place.

Previous bulletin highlights

Here are summaries and highlights of recent patches from the monthly Android Security Bulletin. As with the current bulletin, these issues were also mitigated by Google’s Verify Apps, Safety Net, and seamless updates to Google Play Services.

June 2017

June 2017’s update comes with two patch dates: 06/01/2017 and 06/05/2017.

  • Google Pixel devices for the Canadian carrier Rogers will get a hotfix for VoLTE issues in addition to security updates.
  • Qualcomm has patched a slew of device drivers for the Snapdragon platform. Most were of moderate severity but a Bluetooth-specific update is a critical patch.
  • NVIDIA, MediaTek, and Synaptics have also supplied patched device drivers for a range of issues rated from low to moderate. Any of these binaries that are applicable to Nexus or Pixel devices are available at the Google Developer site.
  • Exploits that allow remote code execution while viewing media in an email, SMS or the browser continue to be addressed as new ones arise. This is a never-ending fight and a reason why monthly patches are important.

If you get an update with a patch date of 06/05/2017, you also have every issue addressed by the 06/01/2017 update in place.

May 2017

May 2017’s update comes with two patch dates: 05/01/2017 and 05/05/2017.

  • Qualcomm has patched an exploit that potentially could allow unauthorized bootloader access for devices using Snapdragon 800 series processors. Motorola has issued a separate update to address the Nexus 6.
  • A specific vulnerability in GIFLIB that can cause memory corruption when a bad file is received has been isolated and patched. This patch applies to Android 4.4 or higher and has been merged into AOSP.
  • Qualcomm, NVIDIA and MediaTek continue to address exploits that affect their “drivers” and have again refined the code for May 2017. Any of these binaries that are applicable to Nexus or Pixel devices are available at the Google Developer site.
  • Several moderate exploits in the Bluetooth stack that could allow a user to receive a file without explicit permission have been addressed. Patches have been merged into AOSP back to Android 4.4.

If you get an update with a patch date of 05/05/2017, you also have every issue addressed by the 05/01/2017 update in place.

April 2017

April 2017’s update comes with two patch dates: 04/01/2017 and 04/05/2017.

  • MediaServer is once again the focus of patches for potentially critical exploits. Six possible ways a media file can cause memory corruption during decoding and playing have been patched in all supported devices from Google. Changes have been merged into AOSP as far back as Android 4.4.
  • A potential exploit in the Factory Reset process has been found and fixed for all supported Google devices and changes were merged into AOSP in 4.4 and above.
  • Updated firmware binaries to address hardware-specific vulnerabilities were received from Broadcom, HTC, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and MediaTek. Any of these binaries that are applicable to Nexus or Pixel devices are available at the Google Developer site.
  • A number of important updates and patches for the Linux kernel have been found, applied and merged upstream.

If you get an update with a patch date of 04/05/2017, you also have every issue addressed by the 04/01/2017 update in place.

March 2017

March 2017’s update comes with two patch dates: 03/01/2017 and 03/05/2017.

  • A remote code execution vulnerability in OpenSSL and BoringSSL was patched. This exploit could allow a specially built file to corrupt files stored in memory and potentially could allow remote code execution. All Android devices (everything else that connects to the internet as well) are vulnerable. Google has built patches for Android versions 4.4.4 through 7.1.1.
  • An elevation of privilege vulnerability in the recovery verifier that could enable kernel access to a local app has been patched. As above, this is a critical patch for all devices and Google provides a fix in AOSP for versions 4.4.4 to 7.1.1.
  • The AOSP Messaging app has been further patched to address a vulnerability that could enable another app to bypass Android’s system-level protections and see data it shouldn’t be able to access.
  • Updated firmware binaries to address hardware-specific vulnerabilities were received from Broadcom, HTC, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Realtek, Synaptics and Google themselves for the ION subsystem. Any of these binaries that are applicable to Nexus or Pixel devices are available at the Google Developer site.

If you get an update with a patch date of 03/05/2017, you also have every issue addressed by the 03/01/2017 update in place.

February 2017

February 2017’s update comes with two patch dates: 02/01/2017 and 02/05/2017.

  • Qualcomm and MediaTek have issued updates that prevent a malicious app from gaining elevated privileges by executing code in the kernel space. The code for these patches is not publicly available, but updated binary files are available at the Google Developer site. Devices running Android 7.0 or higher were not affected.
  • The AOSP Messaging and Mail apps have been patched to address a vulnerability that could enable another app to bypass Android’s system-level protections and see data it shouldn’t be able to access.
  • The Bionic DNS function (Bionic is Android’s standard C library) has been patched to prevent a specific Denial of Service attack that would cause a device to freeze or reboot.
  • Updated firmware binaries to address hardware-specific vulnerabilities were received from Broadcom, HTC, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Realtek, and Synaptics. Any of these binaries that are applicable to Nexus or Pixel devices are available at the Google Developer site.

If you get an update with a patch date of 02/05/2017, you also have every issue addressed by the 02/01/2017 update in place.


Archives of all previous Android Security Bulletins are available at the Android Security website.

See the Android Security website for details on all bulletins

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