AndroidBeat Daily Brief (Sep 5th, 2017): Xiaomi Launches an Android One Handset, OnePlus 3 OxygenOS Beta Update, More

A lot happens in the world of Android on a daily news. So to help you keep up with all the latest happenings in the Android world, we will be bringing you a daily briefing of the latest happenings in the world of Android.

Xiaomi Launches an Android One Handset: The Mi A1

In a move that has likely taken many by surprise, Xiaomi today in partnership with Google announced an Android One handset: the Mi A1. Based on the Mi 5x, the Mi A1 is a budget mid-range device featuring a dual-camera setup at the rear. With this handset, Google is not only reviving its Android One program from the dead but also graduating it towards slightly more expensive and powerful mid-range Android devices. This way, the company aims to avoid the cut throat competition that exists in the budget Android segment.

There’s a lot to like about the Mi A1. It features a Snapdragon 625 chipset, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, a 3080mAh battery, and a dual-12MP camera setup at the rear which offers 2x optical zoom and a Portrait mode. On top of that, it runs on a stock build of Android 7.1.2 Nougat and is scheduled to receive the Android Oreo update before the end of this year. What makes the whole deal even better is its price: the Mi A1 has been priced at only Rs 14,999 in India which makes it a complete steal.

Xiaomi and Google announce the Mi A1, an Android One handset

WhatsApp Building Business Tools

After connecting over a billion people worldwide, WhatsApp is now building tools that will help businesses easily connect to their customers. The company is testing two apps, one for small businesses and another one for big enterprises. The former will be free, while the company plans on charging for the latter. These tools will allow companies to send useful information to their users over WhatsApp like flight information, movie ticket confirmations, and more.

To help customers easily identify businesses, WhatsApp is also introducing a verified profile feature to its platform. Once a business verifies itself, it will have a green badge beside its name to verify its authenticity.

WhatsApp

Nokia 3, 5, 6 Confirmed to Receive Oreo

Nokia’s Chief Product Officer, Juho Sarvikas, has confirmed in a tweet that the company will be updating the Nokia 3, 5, 6 to Android 8.0 Oreo. While the Nokia 5 and 6 receiving the Android Oreo update should not be surprising, many people had doubted whether the Nokia 3 will get the update or not due to its weak MediaTek chipset and overall specifications.

While Nokia’s Chief Product Officer has put such rumors to rest, he failed to provide any details as to when the trio of devices will receive the Oreo update. Nokia has been quick in rolling out monthly security updates to its devices so it is likely that they will receive the Oreo update before the end of this year.

Latest OxygenOS Beta for OnePlus 3/3T Brings Tons of New Features

OnePlus is rolling out a new beta of OxygenOS for the OnePlus 3 and 3T which adds a slew of new features to the devices. Taking some cues from the OnePlus 5, the company has backported some of its features to its 2016 flagship devices. This includes a redesigned lift up display UI, a Shot on OnePlus watermark, tweaked display color calibration, and faster loading times for the Gallery app.

There are a bunch of other changes in OxygenOS Open Beta 23/14 for the OnePlus 3/3T. The full change-log can be found below:

Camera:

  • Added Shot on OnePlus watermark
    • You can toggle the Shot on OnePlus watermark and add your name to all pictures taken in the main camera settings

System:

  • Redesigned lift up display UI
    • Now supports displaying battery percentage
  • Now supports hiding of notification content from apps locked by App locker
    • There is now a toggle that allows you to block notifications from apps that are in the App lock list
  • Improved stability of Parallel apps
  • Adjusted color display of default screen calibration
    • It now tends more towards sRGB calibration
  • Added E-warranty card
    • You can now find a version of your warranty card in “About phone > E-Warranty card”
  • Updated Android security patch level to August

Phone:

  • Added quick index bar in contacts UI
    • The contacts page/app now have an alphabetical bar on the right side for easy moving to certain groups of names
  • Improved experience of switching incoming calls
  • Improvements to suggested merges functionality

Gallery:

  • Loading speed of images improved

Weather:

  • Improved location accuracy
  • Improved the experience of searching cities

Clock:

  • New feature “Alarm calendar”
    • Can be used to set an irregular alarm schedule, once you set the time, you can activate this feature by hitting the 3 dot menu button to the right of “repeat”

If you are not already running OxygenOS on your OnePlus 3/3T, you can find the detailed steps on how to do so and the relevant download links over here.

LG V30, Sony Xperia XZ1 and Galaxy Note 8 Gain HDR Streaming Support on Netflix

The LG V30, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and Sony Xperia XZ1 all feature big and beautiful HDR capable displays. To help take full advantage of them, Netflix has updated its Android app to add support for HDR streaming on these devices. This brings the list of supported devices to 5, with the LG G6 and Sony Xperia XZ Premium being the first and second devices respectively to gain support for HDR streaming on Netflix.

And if you are a frustrated Galaxy S8 and S8+ owner wondering why Netflix has not added support for your device yet, it is because the phones don’t actually support HDR10 or Dolby Vision which are the formats used by Netflix for streaming its HDR movies. So, you are never really going to enjoy streaming HDR content from Netflix on your S8 or S8+.

Netflix


That’s about it for today’s daily briefing. Are you bummed about the Galaxy S8 not gaining support for HDR streaming on Netflix? Excited about Xiaomi’s first Android One device? Drop a comment below and let us know your thoughts.