Monday, August 20, 2018

Android Pie GSI now available for Project Treble-enabled devices

Android Pie Android 9

When Google first announced Project Treble with Android 8.0 Oreo, there was some skepticism among the community about how effective Treble would be at bringing faster updates to Android devices. After seeing how Treble can help kickstart the custom development process by making it possible for supported devices to boot an AOSP Generic System Image (GSI), there was little doubt about how beneficial Treble support will be for the Android ecosystem. The announcement of the Android P beta program, which brought Developer Previews to 7 non-Google devices, laid to rest any remaining doubt about Treble's effectiveness. Now that Android 9 Pie is official and its source code is uploaded to AOSP, developers can build GSIs for all Project Treble-enabled devices from source.

Indeed, XDA Recognized Developer phhusson, the developer who made the first community-built GSI that made it possible to boot AOSP on the Huawei Mate 9, has now released his first source-built Android Pie GSI. Compared to the so-called "semi-GSI" which only supports Qualcomm Snapdragon devices, phhusson's ROM involves far fewer hacks as the system image is based on AOSP rather than the Google Pixel's system image. As such, phhusson's GSI is already confirmed to support 13 different devices from 4 SoC vendors—and that's just listing the devices that phhusson and myself have direct access to.

Android Pie GSI Project Treble

phhusson's collection of Project Treble-compatible smartphones, all running his Android 9 Pie GSI

Most Project Treble-compatible smartphones or tablets with an unlocked bootloader (meaning, no new Huawei or Honor devices) should be able to install this Android 9 Pie GSI. Any device that launched with Android 8.0 Oreo or newer supports Treble as does any device that the manufacturer upgraded to Oreo with Treble support, as listed here. (You can check whether your device supports Project Treble by following our guide.) Currently, the ROM is rather barebones as it's the first public release and is only meant to be for testing stability. Here's a table I compiled with the devices that were tested, their SoCs, their Android OS versions, and the known bugs for each device.

Device Name SoC Original OS/Current OS Known Bugs
Allview V3 Viper MediaTek MT6737 Android 8.0 Oreo Hotspot, NFC, RIL
Blackview A20 MediaTek MT6580M Android 8.1 Oreo Go Edition Hotspot, NFC
Cubot X18 Plus MediaTek MT6750T Android 8.0 Oreo Hotspot, NFC, RIL
Google Pixel 2 XL Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Android 8.0 Oreo/Android 9 Pie Hotspot, NFC, Android 9 vendor
Honor View 10 HiSilicon Kirin 970 Android 8.0/8.1 Oreo (depending on market) Hotspot, NFC
Huawei Mate 9 HiSilicon Kirin 960 Android 7.0 Nougat/Android 8.0 Oreo Hotspot, NFC
Huawei Mate 10 Pro HiSilicon Kirin 970 Android 8.0 Oreo Hotspot, NFC
Koolnee Rainbow MediaTek MT6580A Android 8.1 Oreo Go Edition Hotspot, NFC
Motorola Moto E5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 Android 8.0 Oreo Hotspot, NFC, Various graphical glitches
OnePlus 5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Android 7.1 Nougat/Android 8.1 Oreo Hotspot, NFC, AOSP camera
OnePlus 6 Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Android 8.1 Oreo/Android 9 Pie (beta) Hotspot, NFC, Android 9 vendor
Razer Phone Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Android 7.1 Nougat/Android 8.1 Oreo Hotspot, NFC, Front-facing camera
Samsung Galaxy S9+ Exynos 9810 Android 8.0 Oreo Hotspot, NFC

Download and install Android 9 Pie GSI for Project Treble-enabled devices

You can find the link directing you to the forum thread where you'll find the link to download the Android 9 Pie system image, instructions on how to flash the image, the current bug list, and more. Keep in mind there's no Google Play apps or services bundled with the ROM, so don't flash this expecting it to be your daily driver just yet. Once the AOSP GSI is more stable, other developers will start porting their custom ROM frameworks so you'll start getting more feature-filled GSIs. As of now, there are 19 AOSP Android 8.1 Oreo-based custom GSIs.

Download AOSP Android Pie GSI for Project Treble devices

Visit XDA's Project Treble forum

Note: if your device supports A/B partitions for seamless updates, you will need to flash the A/B GSI rather than the A-only GSI.

Although we're a big fan of GSIs, you should install a device-specific Android 9 Pie custom ROM if there's one available for your device. (Not every device will have the backing of a dedicated developer community, though, so GSIs are a nice way for users of lesser-supported devices to experience custom ROMs.) Here's a short list of Android Pie-based custom ROMs we've already covered on the Portal, with more to come as we clear our backlog:



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OnePlus One, OnePlus 5, and OnePlus 5T get Android Pie ports

OnePlus, OnePlus India

Android 9 Pie has only been out for 2 weeks now, yet we've seen an amazing amount of development on our forums already. We've seen stable, working ports for several devices, including phones from Xiaomi, Motorola, and OnePlus—all of them working fairly decently with few remaining bugs. As the days go by, this list only keeps growing. Today, three new devices are joining the list and getting unofficial Android Pie ports: the OnePlus One, the OnePlus 5, and the OnePlus 5T.

The OnePlus One build comes from Team POSP and is basically fully stable as no major bugs are listed. However, we recommend against installing it unless you know what you're doing since it's marked as a beta release and there could be some undiscovered bugs. The OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T builds, which are based on pure, unmodified AOSP Android, do have a couple of missing features like NFC and VoLTE, and need decrypting your device before installing. Some missing Android 9 features include the new navigation gestures, for one, but if you don't mind that and the aforementioned bugs, you can consider these releases as mostly stable, as there are no other major hiccups or shortcomings.

Download Android Pie (Android 9) on the OnePlus One Download Android Pie (Android 9) on the OnePlus One Download Android Pie (Android 9) on the OnePlus One Download Android Pie (Android 9) on the OnePlus 5 Download Android Pie (Android 9) on the OnePlus 5 Download Android Pie (Android 9) on the OnePlus 5 Download Android Pie (Android 9) on the OnePlus 5T Download Android Pie (Android 9) on the OnePlus 5T Download Android Pie (Android 9) on the OnePlus 5T

Download Android Pie on the OnePlus One, OnePlus 5, and OnePlus 5T

Every OnePlus phone from the OnePlus One to the OnePlus 6 has a publicly available Android 9 Pie build. Apart from these 3 new devices, the OnePlus 2, OnePlus X, the OnePlus 3, and the OnePlus 3T recently received ports of Android Pie. The OnePlus 6, OnePlus' most recent flagship, has an official OxygenOS and HydrogenOS-based Android 9 Pie beta which will also be available on the OnePlus 5, OnePlus 5T, OnePlus 3, and OnePlus 3T as well in the future.

If you're interested in trying out these unofficial builds, check out their respective forum threads, read them thoroughly, and get modding!

Download Android Pie for the OnePlus One

Download Android Pie for the OnePlus 5

Download Android Pie for the OnePlus 5T



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Huawei P20 will be first to get EMUI 9-based Android Pie update

Huawei still continues to amaze its loyal user by keeping the top-notch software support for their flagship devices. The Huawei P20 and P20 Pro already came with the latest version of Android. Now, they have released their plans for upgrading these devices, including the lite version to Android Pie. The world's second largest smartphone manufacturer told MyBroadband, the biggest tech site in South Africa, that the company will release updates for the devices from next month, starting with Huawei P20.

According to MyBroadband, the company will release Android Pie-based EMUI 9 at IFA in September. This strengthens our previous claim that the Mate 20 comes with EMUI 9 and Android 9 Pie, which will be released after Huawei announces the new version of the system. Huawei also mentioned working on developing "stable and powerful software" for its devices that users will receive as updates after the EMUI 9 upgrade. Huawei still hasn't confirmed exactly which of their smartphones will receive Android 9.

It's sad that the company decided to prevent users from unlocking the bootloaders, as Android Pie's ported ROMs are already available for a handful of devices, including Huawei P20 Pro, Huawei Mate 10 Pro, and this experimental Treble ROM for the Huawei P8 lite 2017. Had they allowed users to unlock bootloaders on their own devices, many of them would already be running Android 9. But we've already talked about their decision many times.

Android 9 Pie comes with features like gesture navigation, system-wide notch and display cutout support, very handy auto-rotation lock in the navigation bar, and many more goodies. It's a great release and EMUI 9 should add a lot of other great features.


Source: MyBroadband



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Samsung Brazil and Huawei Egypt accused of using misleading photos in ads

Device OEMs are no stranger to shady practices sometimes, as we've seen some of the best companies show in the past. Huawei is by no means one of the best, but they were caught before for using misleading photos in their advertisements. Yet again, Huawei Egypt has been caught trying to do the same with the Huawei Nova 3i, but they aren't the only one this time around. Samsung Brazil has tried to pass off two stock photos as being taken by the newly released Samsung Galaxy A8.

But it's actually pretty funny how Huawei got caught out. Last time, people viewed the EXIF data of the photos Huawei claimed to belong to the Huawei P9 before release. EXIF data showed that the photos were actually taken by a Canon camera. This time around, an actress on set actually shared a photo showing the photo being taken – with the man in the photo clearly not actually holding anything in his hand. This is the photo Huawei claimed was taken by the Huawei Nova 3i.

And this is how that photo was actually taken.

Yeah, not hard really to connect the dots on that one.

But how Samsung got caught is a little more interesting. They actually used two stock photos from Getty, a site which aggregates stock photos for companies to purchase and use on their websites. One of those photos was titled "Portrait of a beautiful hipster couple looking happy."

It's pretty hilarious, though both of those images cost $499 each. Samsung simply added a filter and released them with the caption "A dating registered in many selfies. The front camera #GalaxyA8 has dynamic focus and highlights in the photo what matters most." Doesn't leave much to the imagination. It's clear that they wanted users to believe these photos were from the Samsung Galaxy A8.

They then did it with "Boyfriend and girlfriend taking selfie, piggy back ride" as well.

Why Samsung would do this, nobody really knows. It's much easier to either take the photos with the actual phone or just not do it at all. Lying about photos does the company no good, especially when it's very likely that they'll be caught like this as well. Those who may have been looking forward to either the Huawei Nova 3i or the Samsung Galaxy A8 may have been put off now as well.


Huawei Source: /r/Android Samsung Via: AndroidPolice



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Windows 10’s Sticky Notes to launch on Android, will sync with PC

windows 10 sticky notes

Sticky Notes is a feature that has been built into Windows for a long time, but it's not very popular. Basically, you can jot down quick notes and save them as "sticky notes" on the screen. With Windows 10, Sticky Notes got a much-needed revamp. They're much faster and have a nice clean, modern design. You may actually want to use it now, especially since Android integration could be coming soon.

According to a report from Thurrott.com, Microsoft is working on a Sticky Notes app for mobile devices. They hope to launch an Android (and iOS) app this year with the ability to sync notes across devices. So notes from your PC and phone will sync and live together in the cloud. This is not exactly a novel concept. There are literally hundreds of apps that can do this, but for Windows users, this can be a native solution.

Before the Android app happens, Microsoft is planning a big update for the Windows app. Sticky Notes will get a dark theme, new formatting bar, new animation, and improved performance. Since the mobile apps are planned for this year, the Windows update should be coming very soon. Again, this is not a groundbreaking feature by any stretch, but it's always nice to have more native desktop-to-mobile integration. Microsoft wants Windows to be the desktop platform of choice for Android users. Little integrations like that can go a long way towards making a complete experience.



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A successor to the 17-inch Samsung Galaxy View may come to AT&T

Samsung Galaxy View

Android tablets might not be a big deal anymore, but that doesn't mean they aren't big. Three years ago, Samsung demonstrated this with the gigantic 18.4-inch Galaxy View tablet. It weighed 6 pounds and cost $600, but it filled a very niche void. It even had a built-in handle. According to a new report, the behemoth is making a comeback.

The Samsung Galaxy View 2 is said to be slightly more compact than the original. The display will only be 17.5-inches, but still 1080p. It will feature a built-in hinge, which is basically a must for a device of this size. Inside the device will be an Exynos processor and 3GB of RAM, so don't expect this to replace your PC. It will use USB Type-C for charging and it will have a microSD card slot. Interestingly, the report says the device does not support Samsung DeX mode. The Galaxy View 2 will run Android Oreo and it will be available from AT&T.

Like the original Galaxy View, this is not really a "portable" tablet. Yes, you can move it from room to room, but you're not going to pack it in a bag. This is a countertop tablet. It's meant to be displayed in your kitchen or a common room. We're not sure how popular the original was, but it couldn't have been very hot if it took 3 years for a successor. The partnership with AT&T likely means we'll see this advertised as a portable DirecTV device. Pricing and availability were not mentioned in the report.


Source: Android Police



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Source code for DexGuard, commercial anti-piracy software, leaks online

dexguard

DexGuard is a popular commercial anti-piracy software written by Guardsquare which can help obfuscate an APK file. It's pretty easy to decompile an Android app and take a look at its internal workings, but obfuscation programs such as DexGuard make that pretty difficult. The software protects applications from reverse engineering attacks too, to prevent users from figuring out how the app does exactly what it does. This, in turn, prevents piracy, as it makes it a lot harder for attackers to figure out how to bypass anti-piracy checks. However, an older version of DexGuard has had its source code leaked on GitHub.

The code has been confirmed to be real, largely thanks to Guardsquare themselves filing a DMCA takedown request on the initial GitHub repository for copyright infringement.

"The listed folders (see below) contain an older version of our commercial obfuscation software (DexGuard) for Android applications. The folder is part of a larger code base that was stolen from one of our former customers."

If you've never heard of DexGuard though, you may have heard of ProGuard. ProGuard is a generic Java obfuscator, while DexGuard applies specifically to Android applications. ProGuard is completely free and open source as well. Both work perfectly fine on Android apps.

The ramifications of the company's source code being stolen are unclear at this point in time. The source code has popped up in many different places across the internet, so it doesn't seem as if it'll be going away any time soon. Over 200 forked repositories were discovered by Guardsquare containing the infringing code at the time of the DMCA takedown on the original. It may give an idea of the internal workings of its obfuscation methods to those trying to decompile and modify Android apps protected by the software, though it's unknown how much of an advantage the source code may give. For developers relying on the security of DexGuard, there's no reason to panic just yet.


Source: TorrentFreak Via: AndroidPolice



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