Huawei Pledges One Million Dollars in Huawei Mobile Services App Innovation Contest

Huawei HMS App Innovation Contest

Those are challenging times for Huawei with the company having to stop developing and manufacturing Kirin processors, and their temporary license to get support from Google has recently expired. But necessity is the mother of inventions, so Huawei has stocked up on chips to give it time to find alternatives and is developing its own software ecosystem. But app developers won’t simply spend time working on apps for the platform without some incentive, so Huawei has launched the HMS App Innovation Contest with one million dollars in prize money. HMS stands for Huawei Mobile Service and looks like the equivalent of GMS, with the app store being called “HUAWEI AppGallery”. The contest is open to developers in most countries, but unsurprisingly there’s no option for developers in North America (USA/Canada). However, the contest is global and it still looks possible to get a Huawei ID from any country. The schedule […]

Review of FamiSafe Phone Tracking & Parental Control App (Sponsored)

Android Phone Tracking

CNXSoft here. I’ve been tasked with reviewing Famisafe parental control app for Android and iOS acting both as a parental control app and phone tracker app and designed for parents who want to track their kids’ location and better control when to use the phone and what content they may access. The first thing to get started is to download the free trial on either Android or iOS. I actually downloaded both versions for FamiSafe for this review, since I used Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 (Android 10) as the “parent” smartphone, and an iPhone 6 as the “kid” phone. Famisafe Initial Configuration We’ll have to start with the “parent” phone. After a welcome screen explaining some of the main features including offensive content detection, device & app usage rules, web filter, etc.. you’ll be asked to select whether it’s the parent or kid device. Once we select “Parent” we’ll be […]

Huawei Releases their Open Source Ark Compiler for HarmonyOS

Ark Compiler HarmonyOS

Back in May, there were rumors Huawei was working on HongMeng OS as an alternative to Android mobile operating systems, as the OS was brought to light due to US sanctions against the company. The new operating system was later confirmed and will be called HarmonyOS outside of China. A few days ago I received a tip in Chinese with this link explaining Huawei had released the open-source Ark compiler for HarmonyOS aka OpenArkCompiler. The compiler works with Java apps and converts the source into AArch64 binaries. The illustration below implies it should also work with C, C++, JavaScript, and Kotlin programming languages. Three links were shared in the announcement: The official website – https://www.openarkcompiler.cn/home The code hosting website – https://code.opensource.huaweicloud.com/openarkcompiler/openarkcompiler/home A mirror for the code – https://gitee.com/harmonyos/OpenArkCompiler As a side note, I had never heard about Gitee, and the site is an alternative to Github in China, which may […]

Access SAMBA Shares in Android with File Browser by Astro

File Manager Android App SAMBA Share

My go-to Android file manager used to be ES File Manager until… today. The free version of the app already had some annoying floating widgets and all sort of things you would be expect to be enabled by default, but the latest version requires you to install an app to enable SAMBA 2.0 support. I tried to keep up with the requirements, but the ad relies on Google Play services which was not installed in the firmware I used. The easiest way to solve the issue is probably to pay $2.99 for the PRO version, but for firmware without Google Play services it might not be possible to sideload it. So instead, I decided it was time to look for an alternative file manager with SAMBA support, since that’s the main feature I use in an Android file manager while doing reviews. I found two candidates File Commander – Free […]

Checking out DevCheck System Info App for Android on NanoPC-T4 Development Board

DevCheck-Dashboard

There are already  a few ways to get system information in Android. The most obvious is just going into the Settings menu, another solution more detailed but less convenient is to access the terminal via adb or an app and run some commands, and finally you can also install apps such as CPU-Z. I’ve been made aware of a new system info app recently called DevCheck, and decided to try it on an Android development board, namely NanoPC-T4 RK3399 SBC. Those apps are often mainly tested on smartphones, so running them on TV boxes or boards do not always yield perfect results. We’ll see. The dashboard section looks good as the app correctly detects six cores and show difference frequencies for each. The hardware part appears to show two clusters one supporting frequencies between 408 MHz and 1416 MHz (Cortex-A53 cores) and another between 408 MHz and 1800 MHz (Cortex-A72 […]

Droplet Computing Aims to Run Apps on any Device (Regardless of the Operating System)

Droplet-Computing

The most popular apps are normally ported to all commonly used operating systems such Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android and iOS, but apps will a lower user base or older apps may not to ported to all operating systems due to the development time / costs involved. In order to solve this issue, UK based Droplet Computing has introduced Droplet Universal, a patent-pending application container solution that decouples applications from the operating system, and enables applications to run on any device, on- or offline. The solution relies on WebAssembly, and allows you to run the app – placed in a low footprint universal container – from a web browser with Chrome v60 (v62 for Android), Firefox v52, Safari v11, and Edge v16 or greater currently supported. Arm and x86 platform are supported, although it’s not yet possible to run Arm apps on x86 with Droplet Universal. It’s hard to know […]

ARM Chromebooks Run Android Apps Better, Exhibit Longer Battery Life than Intel Chromebooks (Study)

Google has been working on supporting Android apps and the Play Store on Chromebooks, which are normally sold with either ARM or Intel processors. So the ability to run Android apps well is one of the things to consider before purchasing a Chromebook. Shrout Research has published a paper entitled “Chromebook Platform Choice Important for Android App Performance” comparing an Acer Chromebook R13 with a Mediatek MT8173C ARM Cortex A72/A53 processor to Acer Chromebook R11 with an Intel Celeron N3060. The Intel Chromebook has a smaller resolution so this could be an advantage, so less resources are needed to update the display. However, the ARM processor is significantly more powerful than the Intel one according to GeekBench results, and Chromebook R13 is sold for $399 on Amazon US, while Chromebook R11 goes for $299 (and lower during promotions). So it’s not a perfect comparison, but it should give an idea […]

Android Play Store Tidbits – Blocking Unlocked/Uncertified/Rooted Devices, Graphics Drivers as an App

There’s been at least two or three notable stories about the Play Store this week. It started with Netflix not installing from the Google Play Store anymore on rooted device, with unclocked bootloader, or uncertified devices, and showing as “incompatible”. AndroidPolice contacted Netflix which answered: With our latest 5.0 release, we now fully rely on the Widevine DRM provided by Google; therefore, many devices that are not Google-certified or have been altered will no longer work with our latest app and those users will no longer see the Netflix app in the Play Store. So that means you need to  Google Widevine DRM in your device, which mean many Android TV boxes may stop to work with Netflix. You can check whether you device is certified by opening Google Play and click on settings, Scroll to the bottom and check Device Certification to see if it is Certified or Uncertified […]