Latest LineageOS build includes misjudged April Fools’ gag (Update)

Update (04/10/2018): The LineageOS team has issued an apology following their April Fools’ joke that made headlines last week.

The joke consisted of two parts — one relating to cryptocurrency and another, which attracted the most complaints, involved a persistent “validation error” notification (read more on the specifics in the original coverage below). 

In a message on its official blog (via Android Police), LineageOS’s ciwrl said that, in hindsight, the notification “was in bad taste for a platform such as ours.”

“While we did not set out to inflict harm to our users, its clear by the feedback that we’ve received that many saw [the notification] as not only unfunny, but as a degradation of the trust users and maintainers,” wrote ciwrl.

“To our users, we apologize and promise to do better next year.”

The post also laid out an apology to the LineageOS “maintainers and contributors” — whom much of the online hate was directed at — and it was explained that the joke wasn’t made on “a teamwide or even Project Director-driven consensus.” Which part of the team was responsible, we don’t know.

Malicious or not, trust in the LineageOS group appears to have taken a beating as a result of the gag. How far this apology goes to repairing that faith remains to be seen.


Original coverage (04/06/2018): The folks behind LineageOS included an April Fools’ Day joke in their most recent builds, but it apparently took until April 4 for the gag to be ready, and some people are not smiling.

The new builds include a “validation error” notification that, when tapped on, reveals LineaGenuine details. LineaGenuine is LineageOS’ tool that determines whether you are running a certified build of the Android fork.

In this case, the details state that your device is uncertified and that LOSCoins must be mined to avoid malicious use of your device’s resources. LOSCoins is the April Fools’ gag and a git-based blockchain that rewards folks for commits.

The longer they “marinate” — LineageOS’ term for failing to review submitted code — the more LOSCoins they are worth.

The joke is a topical one that takes a crack on Google’s recent move to block its apps on uncertified devices. Android Police also found that everyone gets 2,000 LOSCoins in a dedicated Wallet app and that the crypto assets were legit.

Android Police

The problem is that you may not know this was a joke if you did not tap on “Learn more” in the LineaGenuine pop-up. This takes you to the latest changelog post, which details the April Fools’ joke at the bottom of the post.

Some thought the joke was in poor taste, while others believed the “Validation error” warning was genuine and were concerned. A dedicated Reddit thread on the subject has more than 300 comments, many expressing anger or disappointment.

Making matters worse, the only way to get rid of the notification is by manually disabling it through a root shell.

The April Fools’ joke does not affect LineageOS’s usability otherwise — but even so, the somewhat grim warning, in the already sensitive area of flashing custom ROMS, has put a damper on a joke that could have raised a smirk.

Pokémon Go hits right in the nostalgia with new Kanto event

  • Pokémon Go features a new event that centers around Kanto, the series’ starting region.
  • The event nets players increased spawn rates on certain Pokémon, new boss raids, and more.
  • The event has only gone live in Japan, though that could change soon.

Even though Pokémon Go now offers creatures from the Johto and Hoenn regions, it did not forget where it started from. The Kanto region where the series as a whole got its bearings, making Pokémon Go’s new Kanto event all the more special.

Already live in Japan, the event will increase the spawn rates of first-generation starter Pokémon Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur. The increased spawn rates do not make the creatures easier to capture, though you should have more chances to do so.

Elsewhere, you can team up with other trainers to take on and capture Snorlax and Aerodactyl in raids. To encourage participation, the in-game shop will feature special boxes that include raid passes. As of this writing, we do not have pricing information on the boxes.

Finally, the event will grant players double candy when they capture and transfer Pokémon.

Unfortunately, we do not know when the Kanto event will go live in the U.S. It already went live in Japan and is slated to last through April 17, and there is no word from the U.S. Pokémon Go blog yet.

Either way, the recent addition of Mew means that every Pokémon from the Kanto region is attainable. Also, a recent datamine gave us a first look at over 100 first- and second-generation shiny Pokémon.

We do not know when the shiny Pokémon will be available, though an upcoming event could be the release date.

Stunning sci-fi adventure Returner 77 coming to Google Play Store

If you like games that push mobile devices to their limits and need a new puzzle adventure title in your life then you might want to check out Returner 77—a sci-fi mystery title that launches on Android tomorrow via the Google Play Store.

Developed by the somewhat awkwardly named Danish studio, Fantastic, yes, Returner 77 is a 3D adventure game in the vein of the Myst series with first-person, escape the room-style puzzles which should please fans of games like The Room and the excellent Agent A.

In Returner 77, you play as one of the final survivors from Earth trapped on an alien spaceship. Your mission is to escape the vessel and discover the fate of your ally, Colonel Ling, and the rest of the human race.

The first thing you’ll notice from looking at the screenshots or the trailer above is that the graphics and art style look pretty spectacular. Fantastic, yes says that it is dedicated to crafting stunning cinematic experiences. Judging by the glowing reviews on Apple’s App Store for its iOS release last year, that effort hasn’t gone unnoticed by fans of the genre.

Fantastic, yes has also confirmed today that a follow-up, codenamed Core Two, is in development for a summer release in collaboration with 3D animation company M2 Entertainment.

You’ll be able to download Returner 77 from the Play Store via the button below from tomorrow (April 11). While we don’t have pricing confirmation just yet, it seems likely it’ll match the one-off $4.99 fee on the App Store. Returner 77 is also launching tomorrow on PC via Steam.

Is this the best looking game on Android to date? Be sure to let us know your thoughts on Returner 77’s visuals in the comments below.

Google Play: Download Returner 77

New Instagram Focus setting creates portrait mode pictures right in the app

  • Instagram is rolling out a new feature to certain Android devices called Instagram Focus.
  • Using Instagram Focus, you can take portrait mode-style images right in the Instagram app.
  • Only Android devices with native portrait mode capabilities will be able to use Instagram Focus.

Back in March, we told you about how a hidden portrait mode setting in Instagram’s code pointed to the possibility of a fully-fledged portrait mode camera in the app. It looks like our assumption was dead on, as today Instagram announced Focus, a portrait mode camera feature for select Android devices.

If you have an Android phone that supports portrait mode (otherwise known as the bokeh effect, where objects in the foreground are more in-focus than objects in the background), you could already use your native camera app to take a shot and then upload that pic to Instagram.

However, with this new Instagram Focus feature, you can take portrait mode images within Instagram itself, avoiding the need to bounce from one app to the other. Of course, the feature only works if you have an Android device that is capable of taking bokeh-style photos.

To use Focus, open up the Instagram camera. At the bottom, you can select different camera modes. Use the selector to choose Focus, which is right between Boomerang and Superzoom. Once you’re in Focus mode, set up your shot; you’ll notice images in the background automatically blur out.

Once you have a shot you like, tap the screen to capture the images, or tap-and-hold to record a video. Then add filters, stickers, text, or whatever you want to your image and before posting it to your feed.

The Focus feature appears in Instagram version 39.0, so you’ll need to make sure you’re on that version before trying out this new camera setting.

Instagram doesn’t list out which Android devices will support Focus, but generally, any device that has a portrait mode feature should work. That includes major flagship devices like the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, the OnePlus 5T, and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, among others.

NEXT: Best Android smartphone cameras

Android 8.0 Oreo update tracker – April 10, 2018

Welcome to our Android 8.0 Oreo update tracker. Following its public release in August 2017, Oreo is steadily finding its way to more and more Android smartphones.

Google has been working to reduce fragmentation and ensure that more devices receive the latest Android version in a timely fashion. It’s still a work in progress though; the Android 8.0 Oreo update is still far from widespread, as the Android version distribution figures show.

You’re probably wondering “When will my phone get Oreo?” This tracker will help with that question. We’re collecting all the information we can find on the rollout of Android 8, including past OTAs and upcoming releases.

Without further ado, here’s what we know so far about the Android 8.0 Oreo update.

What’s new in Android 8.0 Oreo? We have all the features here

Looking ahead at Android P

Still waiting for Nougat? Check out our Nougat tracker

Android Wear update tracker

Got Oreo?

Before we start

As with older versions, the update to Android 8.0 Oreo has been released by Google, but many factors influence its actual availability. First and foremost, your manufacturer and carrier (in case you own a carrier version) control when your phone will get Oreo. Other factors are your specific model, your location in the world, and whether you bought the device unlocked or through a carrier.

Just because your specific phone or tablet is not on the list, it doesn’t mean it won’t get the Oreo update. The opposite is also true. We make efforts to collect accurate information for all manufacturers, but mistakes happen – if you spot one, let us know.

Key Android 8 Oreo update features

We have a complete overview of all the new features in our Android 8.0 Oreo review. Check it out to see what’s new in Oreo, including design changes, under-the-hood tweaks, and new features. Below we have our video overview of Oreo and a quick list of key features you should know.

  • Redesigned settings menu
  • Persistent notifications
  • Adaptive icons
  • Snooze notifications
  • Notification channels
  • Notification dots
  • Wi-Fi Assistant
  • Picture-in-picture mode
  • Background execution limits
  • Vitals
  • Autofill API
  • Project Treble
  • High performance Bluetooth audio
  • Android Instant Apps

Google Oreo update

Google began rolling out Android 8.0 Oreo to its Nexus and Pixel devices on August 21, 2017. Factory images and OTA links are available on the Android Developers website and if you need any help flashing the image, follow our straightforward guide to installing Android Oreo manually.

On December 5, Google started rolling the Android 8.1 Oreo update, bringing a handful of optimizations.

The following devices are officially receiving Android 8.1 updates. Click on the links to get the latest factory image.

The following devices have received updates to Android 7.1.1 Nougat, but will not receive updates to Android 8.0:

Samsung Oreo update

The following Samsung devices are confirmed to receive the Oreo update in the coming months:

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8
  • Samsung Galaxy S8/S8 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 Prime
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 4
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A8
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1

Related content:

Samsung Galaxy S8/S8 Plus

  • November 2, 2017 – International: Samsung kicks off the Android 8.0 Oreo beta program for Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.
  • November 10, 2017 – International: Samsung is rolling out the second Oreo beta firmware starting in the UK.
  • November 15, 2017 – United States: Second beta pulled in US due to major network bug.
  • November 23, 2017 – International: Samsung is rolling out the third Android 8.0 Oreo beta for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.
  • December 14, 2017 – International: Samsung rolls out fourth Oreo beta for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.
  • January 19, 2018 – International: PSA: Smart Switch wiping data on Galaxy S8, S8 Plus for Oreo beta users.
  • January 25, 2018 – US: Samsung has revealed that the Android 8.0 Oreo beta testing program for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will end on Friday, Jan. 26 in the US.
  • February 2, 2018 – T-Mobile US: T-Mobile is now testing Android Oreo for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus—the last step before the update’s full deployment.
  • March 1, 2018 – International: Here’s the changelog for the Galaxy S8 Oreo update
  • March 12, 2018 – Canada Unlocked: Samsung Canada revealed it would start rolling out the Oreo update from March 19, 2018.
  • March 16, 2018 – UK: The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus in the U.K. are now receiving their Android 8.0 Oreo updates.
  • March 16, 2018 – Verizon US: Verizon is rolling out Oreo to its Galaxy S8 devices.
  • March 19, 2018 – Sprint, T-Mobile US: Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus devices on Sprint and T-Mobile are now receiving their Android 8.0 Oreo updates.
  • March 20, 2018: Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus users in Canada are also now receiving the Oreo update on Bell, Fido, Freedom Mobile, Rogers, Telus, Videotron, and Virgin Mobile.
  • March 20, 2018 – AT&T US: AT&T is rolling out the Android 8.0 Oreo update to the Galaxy S8.
  • March 21, 2018 – AT&T US: According to one Android Authority reader, AT&T is now rolling out Android Oreo to the Galaxy S8 Plus.
  • April 4, 2018 – Unlocked US: Android Oreo is rolling out to unlocked Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus devices in the US.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Active

  • March 29, 2018 – T-Mobile US: T-Mobile users can update to Oreo by checking for updates in Android settings, or by downloading directly from Samsung using instructions provided here.
  • April 2, 2018 – AT&T and T-Mobile US: Android 8.0 Oreo started rolling out to AT&T and T-Mobile units of the Galaxy S8 Active.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

  • March 12, 2018 – Canada unlocked: Samsung Canada revealed it would start rolling out the Oreo update from March 18, 2018.
  • March 16, 2018 – France unlocked: Users in the European country began reporting signs of the Oreo update earlier today.
  • March 27, 2018 – AT&T US: Users are reporting in droves that the OTA Oreo update has appeared on their devices.
  • March 30, 2018 – Sprint and Verizon US: Oreo is now available for Sprint and Verizon users in the US.
  • April 2, 2018 – T-Mobile US: T-Mobile became the last major US carrier to roll out Oreo to its Note 8 subscribers.
  • April 3, 2018 – Unlocked US: According to multiple user reports on Reddit, Android Oreo is rolling out to unlocked Galaxy Note 8 units in the U.S..

Samsung Galaxy S7/Edge

  • March 12, 2018 – Canada unlocked: According to Samsung Canada, Oreo will start hitting the S7 from “this summer.”

LG Oreo update

LG V30

  • November 28, 2017 – South Korea: The Oreo beta is officially rolling out to registered V30 and V30 Plus users in South Korea.
  • December 26, 2017 – South Korea: LG V30 gets Android Oreo update in South Korea.
  • March 12, 2018 – Verizon US: LG V30 users on Verizon report receiving Android Oreo update.
  • March 21, 2018 – Sprint US: Sprint has now joined Verizon in rolling out Android 8.0 Oreo to LG V30 users in the US.
  • March 28, 2018 – AT&T US: Multiple users on Reddit have reported that AT&T has rolled out Android 8.0 Oreo to the LG V30.

Read more: LG V30 update tracker


Huawei Oreo update

Huawei P10/P10 Plus

  • January 8, 2018 – Europe: Huawei has launched the Android Oreo beta program for the P10 and P10 Plus in Europe.
  • March 15, 2018 – International unlocked: Huawei rolling out Android 8.0 Oreo update for P10 and P10 Plus.

Huawei Mate 9

  • October 10, 2017 – International unlocked: Huawei has launched the Android Oreo beta program for the Mate 9.
  • December 6, 2017 – China: Owners of certain Chinese Mate 9 variants can manually upgrade to EMUI 8.0 by requesting it via the Huawei Mobile Services app
  • January 31, 2018 – US Unlocked: Android Oreo update rolling out to the Huawei Mate 9 in the US.

Honor Oreo update

On February 8, 2018 Honor announced that it will roll out the stable versions of the Oreo updates for the Honor 7X and Honor 8 Pro in Q2 2018 (April-June). A beta program would be launched in the mean time. The company also said the Honor 8 would not be updated to Oreo.

Honor 7X

  • March 1, 2018 – Europe Beta: The Honor 7X EMUI 8.0 (Oreo) beta is now live in Europe.
  • March 15, 2018 – Europe Beta: Honor has started informing FUT (Friendly User Test) members that the Oreo-based EMUI 8.0 trial will begin rolling out today to the Honor 7X.

Honor 6X

  • September 6, 2017 – India: Honor announced that the Honor 6X and Honor 8 Pro will be upgraded to the latest version of Android.

Honor 8 Pro

  • September 6, 2017 – India: Honor announced that the Honor 6X and Honor 8 Pro will be upgraded to the latest version of Android.
  • February 1, 2018 – UK: Oreo-based EMUI 8.0 update rollout begins for Honor 9 and Honor 8 Pro in the UK.
  • February 11, 2018 – India: Honor 8 Pro units in India are being seeded the EMUI 8.0 update with Android 8 Oreo.

Honor 9

  • February 1, 2018 – UK: Oreo-based EMUI 8.0 update rollout begins for Honor 9 and Honor 8 Pro in the UK.

HTC Oreo update

HTC U Ultra


  • November 27, 2017 – International unlocked: The steady rollout of Android 8.0 Oreo continues. This time it’s the HTC U11’s turn, as Android’s flagship OS has begun rolling out in Taiwan via an OTA update.
  • November 27, 2017 – International unlocked: HTC is now rolling out Android 8.0 Oreo to the unlocked U11.
  • January 10, 2018 – EMEA: HTC rolling out Oreo update to U11 smartphones in EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, and Africa).
  • January 22, 2018 – Sprint US: HTC’s Mo Versi says the Android Oreo rollout for the HTC U11 with Sprint should begin today.

HTC U11 Life

  • November 30, 2018 – International unlocked: US unlocked U11 Life is now said to be receiving Oreo.
  • December 18, 2017 – T-Mobile US: The T-Mobile HTC U11 Life is getting Android 8.0 Oreo.

HTC 10

  • Dedicated HTC 10 update tracker
  • February 11, 2018 – Sprint US: Mo Versi says the Sprint Oreo rollout for the HTC 10 is coming February 12 and the update is spotted in the wild soon after.
  • February 26, 2018 – Unlocked: User reports suggest the unlocked version of the HTC 10 is also getting the Oreo update.

OnePlus Oreo update

OnePlus 3/3T

  • September 7, 2017 – International unlocked: OnePlus rumored to run Oreo close beta for the OnePlus 3.
  • October 14, 2017 – International unlocked: OnePlus introduced in open beta Android 8 Oreo for the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T.
  • November 19, 2017 – International unlocked: OnePlus 3 and 3T now receiving OxygenOS 5.0 and Android Oreo OTA.

OnePlus 5/5T

  • November 17, 2017 – International unlocked: OnePlus revealed the Oreo beta program for OnePlus 5 will start in November, final rollout due “early 2018”.
  • November 26, 2017 – International unlocked: First OxygenOS Open Beta with Android Oreo arrives for OnePlus 5.
  • December 15, 2017 – International unlocked: Second OxygenOS Open Beta with Android Oreo now available for OnePlus 5.
  • December 24, 2017 – International unlocked: OnePlus kicks of the Oreo update for the OnePlus 5.
  • December 27, 2017 – International unlocked: OnePlus 5T is getting Android Oreo Open Beta.
  • January 2, 2018 – International unlocked: OnePlus suspends the Oreo rollout due to a bug.
  • January 11, 2018 – International unlocked: OnePlus resumed the Android 8.0 Oreo update for the OnePlus 5.
  • March 12, 2018 – International unlocked: OnePlus 5/5T beta testers can now get their hands on Android 8.1-based OxygenOS.

Asus Oreo update

Asus ZenFone 4

Asus ZenFone 3

Motorola Oreo update

The following Motorola devices have been officially confirmed to get Android Oreo:

  • Moto Z2 Force – AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon
  • Moto Z2 Play – Verizon, unlocked
  • Moto Z Force – Verizon
  • Moto Z – Verizon, unlocked
  • Moto Z Play – Verizon, unlocked
  • Moto G5S Plus – unlocked
  • Moto G5 Plus – unlocked
  • Moto G5 – unlocked
  • Moto G4 Plus — unlocked (added on September 18)

Moto Z

  • March 23, 2018 – Brazil: Android 8.0 Oreo starts rolling out to the Moto Z, but only in Brazil.

Moto Z2

  • November 22, 2017 – Brazil: Android Oreo soak test to begin soon for Moto Z and Z2 Force in Brazil.

Moto Z2 Force

  • November 22, 2017 – Brazil: Android Oreo soak test to begin soon for Moto Z and Z2 Force in Brazil.
  • December 22, 2017 – Verizon US: Verizon rolls out stable Android 8.0 Oreo OTA update and December Android security patches.
  • January 2, 2018, T-Mobile US: The carrier rolls out Android 8.0 Oreo OTA update and December Android security patches.
  • February 23, 2018 – AT&T US: The carrier rolls out Android 8.0 Oreo OTA update and January Android security patches.
  • February 22, 2018 – Sprint US: Oreo now available for Sprint Moto Z2 Force units.

Moto Z2 Play

Moto X4

  • January 24, 2018 – International unlocked: Android 8 Oreo now available for Moto X4.
  • March 16, 2018 – US: Android 8.1 Oreo heading to US variants of Android One Moto X4.

Lenovo Oreo update

If you own the Lenovo K8, K8 Plus, or K8 Note, we have some good as well as bad news. The good news is Lenovo has revealed on its website that all three devices will get updated to Android Oreo.

The bad news, however, is that you’ll have to wait for quite some time before the update hits your device. The Lenovo K8 is expected to get it in June next year, while the other two models should be updated to the latest version of the OS a month later.

Sony Oreo update

Sony confirmed that the following devices will be updated to Android 8 Oreo:

  • Xperia X
  • Xperia X Performance
  • Xperia XZ
  • Xperia X Compact
  • Xperia XZ Premium
  • Xperia XZs
  • Xperia XA1
  • Xperia XA1 Ultra
  • Xperia Touch
  • Xperia XA1 Plus

Related content

Sony Xperia XZ/XZs

  • November 27, 2017 – International unlocked: Sony Xperia XZ and Xperia XZs owners reported that the Oreo update has started to roll out.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium

  • October 23, 2017 – International unlocked: Sony Xperia XZ Premium is now receiving the Android 8.0 Oreo update.

Sony Xperia X Performance

  • November 27, 2017 – International unlocked: Android 8.0 Oreo is now rolling out to the Xperia X Performance.

Sony Xperia X

  • February 5, 2018 – International unlocked: Sony rolls out the Android 8.0 Nougat update to the Xperia X (F5122).

Sony Xperia X Compact

  • February 5, 2018 – International unlocked: Sony rolls out the Android 8.0 Nougat update to the Xperia X Compact (F5321).

Sony Xperia XA1/XA1 Plus

  • March 17, 2018 – International unlocked: Sony has started rolling out Android Oreo to the Xperia XA1 family.

ZTE Oreo update

ZTE Axon 7

  • December 19, 2017 – International unlocked: ZTE has confirmed that Android 8.0 Oreo will come to the Axon 7.
  • December 27, 2017 – International unlocked: ZTE Germany announced in a public forum that the Axon 7 will receive the Android Oreo update in April 2018 with Stock+ UI.
  • January 22, 2018 – US: Stock Android-like Axon 7 Oreo update now in testing in the US.
  • February 14, 2018 – US: ZTE has announced an Android 8.0 Oreo beta program for Axon 7 users in the US.

Essential Oreo update

Essential Phone

Nvidia Oreo update

Nvidia announced that its Android tablets, the Shield Tablet and Shield Tablet K1, will not be updated to Android 8.0 Oreo. As for Shield TV, Nvidia’s General Manager, Ali Kani said that it was “looking forward to the exciting new features that Android O will bring to Shield TV.”

Nokia Oreo update

Nokia 2

Nokia 3

Nokia 8

  • October 25, 2018 – International unlocked: Nokia announced a beta program for Android Oreo running on Nokia 8.
  • November 24, 2018 – International unlocked: HMD Global is now rolling out Android 8.0 Oreo for Nokia 8.
  • January 23, 2018 – International unlocked: The Android 8.1 Oreo update for the Nokia 8 is now available in beta.
  • February 14, 2018 – International unlocked: Android 8.1 Oreo is now rolling out for the Nokia 8.

Nokia 7

  • January 15, 2018 – International unlocked: HMD Global begins stable Android 8.0 Oreo rollout for Nokia 6 (2018) and Nokia 7.

Nokia 6 (2018)

  • December 19, 2017 – International unlocked: HMD Global has extended its Android Oreo beta program to the Nokia 5 and Nokia 6.
  • January 15, 2018 – International unlocked: HMD Global begins stable Android 8.0 Oreo rollout for Nokia 6 (2018) and Nokia 7

Nokia 6

  • January 30, 2018 – International unlocked: Android 8.0 Oreo update rolling out for Nokia 6 and Nokia 5.
  • March 29, 2018 – India: Android 8.1 Oreo released for the Indian versions of the Nokia 6.

Nokia 5

  • December 19, 2017 – International unlocked: HMD Global has extended its Android Oreo beta program to the Nokia 5 and Nokia 6.
  • January 30, 2018 – International unlocked: Android 8.0 Oreo update rolling out for Nokia 6 and Nokia 5.
  • March 29, 2018 – India, Tunisia, Indonesia: Nokia 5 gets upgraded to Android 8.1 Oreo.

Vivo Oreo update

On February 13, Vivo has put up a list of smartphones belonging to the X series slated to get updated to Android Oreo. The list of smartphones includes the X20, X20 Plus, XPlay 6, X9, X9 Plus, X9S, and X9S Plus. According to the post, the Vivo X20 is destined to receive the update in April 2018, but there is no such information about the rest of the crop.

Xiaomi Oreo update

Xiaomi Mi A1

  • December 30, 2017 – International unlocked: Xiaomi is closing out 2017 by updating its Mi A1 handset to Android 8.0 Oreo.
  • January 11, 2018 – International unlocked: Xiaomi announced it would temporarily halt the Oreo update for the Mi A1 due to bugs.
  • January 16, 2018 – International unlocked: The Oreo update has reportedly been resumed.
  • January 30, 2018 – International unlocked: Xiaomi Mi A1 users report battery, fingerprint sensor issues after Oreo update.

Razer Oreo update

Razer Phone

Other Oreo updates

Lineage OS

  • February 26, 2018 – New LineageOS, based on Android 8.1, now available for the first devices as nightly builds


That’s the wrap-up of our Android 8 Oreo tracker. We tried to catch all major devices, but if we missed something, just let us know!

New survey concludes American teens prefer iPhone over Android

  • A survey by Piper Jaffray concludes that over 80-percent of American teens prefer iPhone over Android.
  • The results are part of a larger picture in which teens love of the iPhone gets stronger with each passing quarter.
  • The survey curiously doesn’t mention which teens are getting iPhones as hand-me-downs from their parents, the likely reason so many teens prefer iPhones.

Everyone remembers what it was like being a young teenager and being desperate to fit in with the in-crowd. Who hasn’t looked back at photos from their younger years and laughed at how silly they looked decked out in the fashion of the times? “That’s not really me,” you say to yourself, “I was just going through a phase.”

Speaking of fitting in and going through phases, a new survey concludes that 82 percent of American teenagers own iPhones, and a whopping 84 percent of teens say their next phone will also be an iPhone.

The results stem from Piper Jaffray’s “Teens Survey,” via Business Insider, which obtains its data from thousands of kids across America with an average age of 16.

But here’s where things get truly frightening: last fall, when the same organization conducted a similar survey, it found that 78 percent of teens currently owned an iPhone. This new 82 percent number is not only higher than a few months ago, but the highest iPhone-ownership stat the survey has ever seen.

The graph below paints a chilling picture of just how much teens want to have exactly what their friends have with no regard for usability, uniqueness, or choice:

teens prefer iphone Business Insider

Are these teens all crazy? What are they doing, eating laundry detergent pods or something?

We can’t really blame the teens, though. Scientifically, teenagers are hardwired to want to fit in as much as possible.

Tim Smith, the principal adolescent psychologist at Sydney’s Psychology and Counseling Group, says, “Fascinating and complex changes occur within the developing adolescent brain that influence thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, placing unique psychological challenges on young people.” He surmises, “Adolescence is an especially challenging time in this regard.”

With that in mind, don’t blame the teens for wanting a phone that looks like everyone else’s phone and has a logo associated with wealth and prosperity. They’re just going through an awkward phase and will eventually become their own unique selves and will want a phone that reflects that new identity.

NEXT: On first dates, iPhone users 21 times more likely to negatively judge Android users

Essential Phone on Sprint now receiving Android 8.1 Oreo update

  • Android 8.1 Oreo is now rolling out to the Sprint variant of the Essential Phone.
  • The update arrives almost a month after it rolled out for the unlocked Essential Phone.
  • The update brings security patches, bug fixes, and more.

If you own the Sprint variant of the Essential Phone, check your device for a software update. Android 8.1 Oreo is rolling out now for your device.

The update arrives almost a month after the unlocked version’s and almost three months after Essential said it would skip Android 8.0 for Android 8.1. It has been quite the wait for Sprint customers, but they will be happy to know that the wait is over.

The update introduces the standard fare of Android Oreo features, such as smart text selection, instant apps, picture-in-picture, and more. You can check out our Android Oreo review to read up on all of the features.

You also get Essential Phone-specific features, such as dynamic calendar and clock icons, a fix for the annoying slow scrolling jitter issue, and Bluetooth 5.0 certification. It also includes modem stability fixes, bug fixes, and better handling of game controllers.

Also included is a nifty toggle within developer options that forces apps to either render around the notch, not render content around the notch while in landscape, or adhere to Essential’s recommendations. This is a universal setting, so whichever you pick applies to every app on your phone.

Lastly, the update changes the build number to OPM1.180104.141. If you are an Essential Phone owner on Sprint, head to Settings > System > System update > Check for update to download the update.

The HP Chromebook x2 is a $599 premium tablet aimed at the iPad Pro

HP’s Chromebook x2 is more than the first Chrome OS-based 2-in-1 with a detachable keyboard and pen. Announced Monday, this $599 tablet wants to compete with the likes of the iPad Pro. If it makes any headway, the Surface Pro should probably worry, too.

While the Chromebook x2 looks affordable compared to its iPad Pro and Surface Pro rivals, it does look expensive for a Chromebook—most of its category cousins are still around $300. Its features are pretty nice, though, and Chromebook veterans may be able to appreciate the difference.

HP’s Chromebook x2 is the first 2-in-1 Chromebook.

HP Chromebook x2 specs and features

The Chromebook x2 will ship in June. Here are the highlights from the specs we know.

  • CPU: Intel 7th-gen Core m3-7Y30
  • Memory: 4GB LPDDR3-1600
  • Display: 12.3-inch 2400×1600 IPS WLED backlit
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615
  • Storage: 32GB eMMC
  • Ports: Two USB 3.0 Gen 1 (5Gbps) Type C
  • Cameras: Front 5MP, rear 13MP
hp chromebook x2 lifestyle rear HP
The HP Chromebook x2 has front 5MP and rear 13MP cameras.

  • Battery: 4-cell, 48Whr lasts up to 10 hours
  • Dimensions and weight: 11.5 x 8.32 x 0.33 inches, or 0.6-inch thick with keyboard

The price also includes a digital pen and the keyboard cover. A magnetic hinge attaches the keyboard cover to the tablet.

hp chromebook x2 topdown detached HP
The HP Chromebook x2 comes with a pen for scribbling and navigating onscreen.

We haven’t seen the keyboard in person, but it looks like its exterior is a synthetic material with a leather-like finish. We also don’t know how stiff the tablet cover is and what the keyboard travel is, as these keyboard covers can sometimes be a little challenging to type on.

The tablet’s exterior surface has an Anodized Electrodeposition coating. According to HP, the coating feels like ceramic and provides extra durability and a soft, matte finish that resists scratches and is easy to clean.

hp chromebook x2 rearquarter HP
The Anodized Electrodeposition coating on the HP Chromebook x2 is a softer, matte finish compared to metal that’s also scratch-resistant.

Why this matters: Chromebook tablets are finally a thing. The HP Chromebook x2 follows the earlier April announcement of the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, the very first Chrome tablet. Now that Chromebooks run Android apps, stylus support and the tablet form factor make a lot of sense.

The Chromebook x2 is priced and positioned in a tough spot, though. Sure, it’s affordable compared to the iPad Pro and Surface Pro with which it wants to compete—but it’s expensive for a Chromebook. We don’t know how many people raised on dirt-cheap $300 clamshells will reach for a product that costs twice as much. We’ll let you know whether it’s worth the jump if we have a chance to review it.

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Watch us build an over-the-top RGB PC

Whether you love them or hate them, it’s hard to ignore the number of PC components with RGB lights. Multi-colored PC lighting has crept into almost every category out there—even sound cards and power supplies.

What’s less clear is just how easy it is to build a system entirely of RGB parts and then simultaneously control all of the lighting. So to put it to the test, we’re building a PC that houses as many RGB components as possible.

Parts list

When choosing the parts for this build—which we’ve affectionately dubbed our “Viva Las Vegas” machine—it became clear that even four years into this RGB fad, you can’t throw together whichever components you want and expect to control them through a single interface. You have to commit to an ecosystem.

The main options are Asus Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, and MSI Mystic Light. Each has their advantages and disadvantages: For example, Asus Aura Sync supports a wider selection of third-party coolers and fans, while you can use third-party keyboards and mice with Gigabyte RGB Fusion.

For this build, we chose Aura Sync to tie everything together, due to the availability of components we wanted. That did limit our options—we had to give up on the Corsair 570X as a case early on, for instance, because we didn’t want to run different control interfaces simultaneously.

We still found plenty of RGB components to stuff inside our rig, though we did skip two instances. Because the case will hide the PSU and storage from view, it’s unnecessary to buy RGB versions.

Overall, we’re aiming for a high-end consumer PC that puts extra money toward upgraded materials and RGB aesthetics instead of raw hardware performance.

Watch us build it live!

We’ll be kicking off this RGB PC build next Wednesday, April 11th, at 10:00am PT. You can tune in via YouTube, Twitch, or Facebook to witness the sheer face-melting glory of so many LEDs in one system. Chime in with ideas for the best color scheme to use once everything’s up and running!

After we’re done, check back for testing results and our final thoughts on the build. This time around, we’ll focus on how easy it is to control all the lights. Current top goal: Getting them to flash when a pizza delivery person shows up at our door.

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Intel 8th-gen CPU motherboards explained: Z370 vs. H370 vs. B360 vs. H310

Selecting the best Intel 300-series motherboard to fit your needs was straightforward when the initial wave of 8th-gen Core desktop processors launched in October 2017, because only the enthusiast-class Z370 chipset released alongside the new chips. That was enough to help the flagship Core i7-8700K CPU counter AMD’s Ryzen threat at the high end, but left PC users looking for more affordable options in a pickle. Buying a $100 Core i3 chip doesn’t make much sense when you’re forced to slap it in a $130, high-end motherboard, especially with AMD offering a full arsenal of Ryzen motherboards at all price points.

The disparity ended in April, 2018, when Intel revealed the full lineup of 300-series chipsets for its 8th-gen CPUs. The lower-cost chipsets don’t offer all the bells and whistles of Z370 motherboards, but they have a few fancy features up their sleeves that the swankier boards lack.

Should you buy a H370, B360, or H310 motherboard for those extras? Does it make sense to splurge on a Z370 chipset anyway? Let’s examine what each Intel 300-series motherboard chipset offers so you can make the right decision when you buy an Intel 8th-generation processor.

Z370 vs. H370 vs. B360 vs. H310

You need a new Intel 300-series motherboard if you buy an 8th-gen “Coffee Lake” processor. Older motherboards don’t work with 8th-gen chips, and that includes the recent 100- and 200-series options for Skylake and Kaby Lake chips. While Coffee Lake chips are largely based around the same architecture as those predecessors, 8th-gen chips pack in more cores, which means they have different power requirements.

Here’s a look at raw specifications for each of the Intel 300-series motherboard chipsets available to consumers. (We’re not including the Q370, a chipset that matches Z370 but with additional business features added.)

intel motherboard chart Rob Schultz/IDG

Z370 motherboards are the gold standard, built for enthusiast PCs. These are the only Intel motherboards that support CPU and memory overclocking (if you have an unlocked K-series chip), or handle gaming rigs with multiple graphics cards. They’re loaded with the most PCI-E lanes, potential USB ports (with one notable caveat—more on that after), and RAID storage options. As the flagship chipset, Z370 also offers the most high-speed I/O lanes. More HSIO lanes let board makers divvy out more features, like NVMe SSD connections and SuperSpeed USB ports, as they see fit.

Here are some of the options in Newegg’s Z370 selection. The higher you go up in price, the more extra features you receive.

evga h370 EVGA

H370 motherboards are only a notch below Z370, and perfect for people who don’t like to tinker. These boards don’t support overclocking, multiple graphics card setups, or some of the more exotic Intel Rapid Storage Technology features. Other than those niche enthusiast features, and some differences in USB 3.1 support, H370 largely mirrors Z370.

Here are some of the options in Newegg’s H370 selection:

msi motherboards MSI

B360 motherboards start shaving more off. You’ll get fewer USB ports, fewer HSIO and PCI-E lanes, and barely any RAID support via Intel’s Rapid Storage Technology. But they still pack speedy USB 3.1 Gen. 2 ports and Optane Memory support to boost hard drive speeds to near-SSD speeds. Look at these as solid-value motherboards for mainstream computers.

Here are some of the options in Newegg’s B360 selection. Once you start creeping too far north of $100, however, you might be better off opting for an H370 motherboard, unless a B360 selection includes a specific key feature that isn’t available in your budget with H370.

gigabyte h310 motherboard Gigabyte

H310 motherboards really strip things back. Far fewer USB and SATA ports are supported. It doesn’t support PCI-E 3.0, only the slower PCI-E 2.0, and you can’t use Intel’s Optane Memory technology like you can with the other options. The memory setup only supports a single DIMM per channel, reducing overall bandwidth. RAID options are nonexistent. These ultra-basic motherboards should only be considered for bargain-basement systems with simple needs. They lock you out of a lot of niftier new features that’ve blossomed in Intel’s ecosystem in recent years.

Here are some of the options in Newegg’s H310 selection. There isn’t much variety here, nor fancy gaming brands.

Intel 300-series motherboard differences explained

The Z370 chipset might have the mightiest spec set on paper, but the other options pack some features that the original 8th-gen motherboards lack, and the stripped-down H310 is the only chipset that can’t run Intel’s hard drive-boosting Optane Memory.

H370, B360, and H310 motherboards integrate support for speedy 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen.2 ports into the chipset, which you can see listed in the comparison chart above. That should help bring the blisteringly fast tech to more affordable motherboards, as vendors will no longer need to pay for a third-party controller—this uses Intel’s own technology. Adding USB 3.1 ports eats into a motherboard’s stash of HSIO lanes, though.

asus rog motherboard Asus
All Intel 300-series motherboards except Z370 can support USB 3.1 Gen. 2 and integrated Wi-Fi.

The new boards also move a lot of the functions needed for wireless networking into the platform controller hub itself, using Intel’s CNVi wireless-AC technology. Highlights include integrated 802.11ac Wi-Fi support and up to 1733Mbps speeds with Intel’s highest-end companion RF module, which Intel says is far faster than most Wi-Fi options available.

Equipping extra hardware to fully activate the functionality can add to the cost of a motherboard, and it’s an option for motherboard vendors—not a requirement. Don’t expect to see Wi-Fi on every H370, B360, and H310 motherboard, in other words, especially as you move further down the price scale. (Gigabyte, for example, sells an optional “CNVi WiFi upgrade kit” for some of its motherboards.) If yours includes it, you’ll want an 802.11ac “Wave 2” router that can take advantage of CNVi’s full potential, like the Asus RT-AC87U.

intel desktop core platform stuff Intel

H370, B360, and H310 motherboards also include “modern standby” features that lets computers sleep to save energy, but listen for a wake word (in smart speaker-like fashion) and quickly resume. Modern standby functionality previously existed in laptops, but this is a first for desktop PCs.

Once again, motherboards based on the Z370 chipset don’t include any of this new native functionality, though hardware makers can add Wi-Fi and USB 3.1 Gen. 2 capabilities via add-in controllers. But curiously, the business-focused Q370 chipset mirrors Z370’s specifications (sans overclocking) and includes the new capabilities found in the H370, B360, and H310 motherboards. Intel hasn’t announced a successor to the Z370 chipset for 8th-gen CPUs, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see one in the future to bring the 300-series flagship into feature parity with its little cousins.

Little extras

aorus lit ram slots Gigabyte
The RGB LED-illuminated light strip and RAM slots on the Gigabyte H370 Aorus Gaming 3.

The final part of the equation is finding a 300-series board with finishing touches that fit your needs. While the information above describes the guts of every Z370, H370, B360, and H310 motherboard, vendors can tweak and configure their hardware in different ways, so two H370 boards (for example) might have slightly different port configurations and wildly different features, such as RGB lighting, fancy audio, one-button overclocking, et cetera.

[ Further reading: The best SSDs you can buy ]

But now that you know the basics of what each Intel 300-series chipset offers, you can quickly narrow down your search for the perfect 8th-gen motherboard for you.

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