Wednesday, 3 August 2016

What's new in Android Nougat

Candy for your phone: Android 7.0 was presented at the Google I/O conference and was later named "Nougat." — Google
After its first presentation in May 2016 at the Google I/0 conference, summer brings more news on the latest version of Android – version 7.0, also known as Nougat – ahead of its official launch this fall. 
Virus detection blocks system booting
Android is the world's most popular mobile operating system (84.1% market share for Q1 2016, according to Gartner), and also the OS most at risk from malware attacks. Android Nougat will help combat viruses by analyzing mobile devices each time they restart. The OS can then prevent a device from booting if a virus is detected or restrict access to a limited-use mode, like the "safe mode" in Windows PCs. 

Split-screen mode
The main new feature landing in Android Nougat is the split-screen mode for using two applications simultaneously, open side by side (tablet) or one above the other (smartphone). This function is all the more hotly awaited since it already features in several third-party Android user interfaces, like those from Samsung and LG, as well as in competitor systems, iOS and Windows.
Updated notifications
Android Nougat brings revamped notifications, promising a faster and easier-to-use system no matter what applications are open. Launcher shortcuts also let users create custom shortcuts to specific features in certain applications. This could, for example, be a shortcut to message a particular contact or to access a specific folder in an email inbox. 
Video watching
The "picture in picture" (PIP) mode lets users keep videos running while using other applications. The video will play in a separate window in the corner of the screen, which could be useful for following live streams while working or surfing in other apps. 
Improved battery saving
The new version of Doze – the Android battery saving function – will now kick in whenever the screen goes off rather than only when the system is inactive. What's more, Android Nougat will bring options for limiting data use by reducing the quality of images and video streams, which could prove handy for users with limited data packages. 
Seamless integration for VR
Finally, there's no doubt that the latest version of Android will be optimised for Daydream, Google's new virtual reality platform set to land this fall. However, it's as yet unclear what exactly Google has in store.  
Watch the Android Nougat statue being unveiled in Mountain View, California here.
— AFP Relaxnews

Huawei Honor 5C

Professional touch: One can easily shoot like an expert with the Pro mode manual adjustment options available.

Deciding what phone to buy is never easy because there are so many choices at almost every price point. 

And the latest contender in the budget category is the Honor 5C which boasts a full metal body, ­fingerprint sensor and motion co-processor for just under RM800.

The beautiful 5.2in screen is of the IPS (in-plane switching) variety, which has better viewing angles and colours – something not ­commonly found on a budget phone.
It has no physical buttons for navigation – instead you get virtual buttons that are configurable. You can reposition the back, home and review buttons to suit your style but lose out on tactile feedback.
Sharp shooter
Images taken with the 13-­megapixel main camera turned out pretty good and sharp which is a surprise given that the Honor 5C is an affordable smartphone.
You just have to ensure your hands are steady as the camera lacks OIS (optical image ­stabilisation).
The 13-megapixel camera shoots decent pictures but doesn’t feature OIS.
The 13-megapixel camera shoots decent pictures but doesn’t feature OIS.
It also has many camera modes such as Pro photo and Pro video which give you manual control over exposure, white balance and ISO.
Other modes include Beauty (for souping up your selfies), Good Food, Slow-mo and Light Painting (long exposure mode for capturing light trails from cars).
The front-facing camera has also been improved – it’s 8 megapixels now and gets most things right but is still a little grainy.
Power play
The Honor 5C runs on Huawei’s latest in-house processor, the HiSilicon Kirin 650 octa-core. The processor was manufactured on 16nm process, which the company claims makes it more energy- ­efficient.
The smartphone could easily last a full day when it was used heavily for social media (such as accessing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and shooting photos, as well as casual gaming.
It also has a co-processor for tracking motion – this allows it to count the steps you have taken without impacting battery life much.
The only downside is the ­charging time. As it doesn’t feature fast charging, it take a little longer to charge.
The smartphone is also a capable gaming device – it was able to ­handle graphics-intensive games such as This War Of MineDead Run and Need For Speed: Most Wanted without any performance issues.
More than just a phone: The 5C comes with a dedicated motion tracking processor to track your daily activities without greatly affecting battery life.
The 5C comes with a dedicated motion tracking processor to track your daily activities without greatly affecting battery life. — LOW LAY PHOON/ The Star
Sadly, it doesn’t shine in the audio department – sound quality was below par for both games and music.
Android 6.0
The Honor 5C runs on the latest Android (Marshmallow) which offers better security and app ­management.
It’s also one of the first Honor smartphones to run on Huawei’s EMUI 4.1 user interface which has a few new cool features.
For instance, you can have ­hidden apps on the homescreen, which can be revealed by making a pinching-out motion.
A feature called Scrollshot allows you to take a screenshot of an entire webpage, even if it is longer than your screen.
The fingerprint sensor was very fast and accurate – it rarely failed to recognise our fingers and unlocked the smartphone almost instantaneously.
The sensor can also be used for navigation. You can, for example, use it for scrolling webpages and viewing your photo gallery which is handy.
The Honor 5C is a budget phone that offers more for less. For RM799, you are getting a smartphone that looks great, has a fingerpint sensor and decent cameras.
Even the battery life is great which is really important if you are planning to playPokemon Go when (and if) it arrives here.
Definitely a smartphone you should check out if you are looking for an affordable Android.
Pros: Excellent battery life; good performance; improved user interface; beautiful display; fast fingerprint sensor; decent cameras.
 Lacks fast charging feature; so-so speakers.
Honor 5C

Android smartphone
Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) with EMUI 4.1
5.2in (1,080 x 1,920 pixels)
Octa-core Kirin 650 (4 x 2.0GHz A53 + 4 x 1.7GHz A53)
13 megapixels camera (rear); 8 megapixels (front)
 16GB internal ­memory
Bluetooth 4.1 WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
 Fingerprint sensor
3,000mAh lithium-ion
SIZE (W x D x H): 
73.8 x 8.3 x 147.1mm
 RM799 (inclusive of GST)
Review unit courtesy of Honor Malaysia, 1800-22-3366