How to Enable Google Dialer’s New Floating Bubble Feature

Google Dialer is a modification of the AOSP dialer with a few small extra features. You can search for local phone numbers within the app and receive information on phone numbers that aren’t in your contacts. What’s more, you can also enable a secret feature! The Google Dialer floating bubble can be enabled by editing one of Google Dialer’s XML files in its shared_prefs folder. The floating bubble allows you to turn on speaker phone, mute your microphone, or hang up while you’re in another app. A video demonstration of the floating bubble is below. To follow this guide, you need root access and a root enabled file explorer. I recommend the free MiXplorer, straight from our Apps & Games forum! If you would prefer however, any other popular, root enabled options should work fine.

MiXplorer (Free, XDA Labs) →

This guide only works on rooted devices. To get root, install Magisk or SuperSU. You will also need a root enabled file explorer, as we will be editing a Google Dialer preferences file located in its own /data folder. You should also enable Google Dialer as the default phone application. If you uninstall the stock dialer that comes with your phone, this is necessary or else your phone will soft reboot when making or receiving a call.


Enabling Google Dialer’s Floating Bubble

You’ll need to download Google Dialer if you don’t have it already. You can download the latest on APKMirror. To enable it as the default calling app, go to “Settings” then “Apps” and press the settings cog at the top and tap “Phone”. Change the default phone application to the Google Dialer. It’s called “Phone” too, but the one not marked as default or system will be the one you just installed if you haven’t got any other dialer apps on your phone.

Once done, make sure your device is rooted and you have a root enabled file explorer. You’re ready to begin if so!

Step 1

Open your file explorer and navigate to /data/data/com.google.android.dialer/shared_prefs.

Here you’ll see various xml files which contain some modifiable parts of the application. Usually when you change a setting in an app, the setting gets written in some form within a file in the shared_prefs folder of the application. Google Dialer contains the string we need to edit within called “dialer_phenotype_flags.xml“, so open that up in your text editor.

Step 2

Find the boolean string titled “G_enable_return_to_call_bubble” and change the “false” to “true”. It should look like the below screenshot.

That’s all you need. Now save and force close Google Dialer. Launch it again and next time you make or receive a call and then press the home button you’ll see a phone dialer bubble! There are other features which you can enable or disable in this section too, but none that are guaranteed to work. Note that this feature may break at any time due to an update, so if an update removes the bubble you may need to change the string again. If it doesn’t exist, then it’s likely that Google removed it.


Explanation

What we are doing is fairly simple. Google Dialer reads its various preferences from the files located in /shared_prefs. One of the modifiable preferences present is the Google Dialer bubble that we enabled in this tutorial. This is a feature that Google are either currently testing or a feature that will never go live but was tested in-house. The bubble and its features work perfectly fine with no instability, so we expect to see this feature within the app publicly at some stage in the future. We’ll let you know if we find any other secret features!

If you’re an Xperia owner in US, you could get up to $300 from Sony

Sony Logo

Thanks to the recent preliminary settlement over misleading commercials, you might be owed up to $300 from the Japanese electronics company.

See also:
Sony Xperia XZ Premium review

Sony Xperia XZ Premium review

June 27, 2017

Sony Xperia phones and tablets aren’t the most common in the US, but if you are one of the very few people who own a Sony-made device in the US, you might be eligible for a $300 reimbursement. If you remember, Sony used to advertise some of its products as “waterproof.” Phones like the Xperia Z1 have a rating of IP58, which means they can be “immersed in 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes.” They’re not technically “waterproof” but water-resistant instead. The problem arose when Sony’s commercials claimed that they were and showed the devices being used to take photos underwater.

Naturally, users who thought their devices were waterproof were taken aback when their phones stopped working after some underwater photoshoot, and some of them subsequently filed a class action suit against Sony for its misleading advertisement. After over a year of legal battle, the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York has preliminarily approved an agreement between the plaintiffs and Sony. The models in question are the following:

  • Xperia M2 Aqua
  • Xperia M4 Aqua
  • Xperia ZR
  • Xperia Z Ultra
  • Xperia Z1
  • Xperia Z1 Compact
  • Xperia Z1s (T-Mobile)
  • Xperia Z2
  • Xperia Z3
  • Xperia Z3 Compact
  • Xperia Z3 (T-Mobile)
  • Xperia Z3v (Verizon)
  • Xperia Z3 Dual
  • Xperia Z3+ Dual
  • Xperia Z3+
  • Xperia Z5
  • Xperia Z5 Compact
  • Xperia Z2 Tablet (WiFi)
  • Xperia Z2 Tablet (LTE)
  • Xperia Z2 Tablet (Verizon LTE)
  • Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact (WiFi)
  • Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact (LTE)
  • Xperia Z4 Tablet (WiFi)
  • Xperia Z4 Tablet (LTE)

Those who are eligible – those whose water-related warranty claims were rejected – are to be reimbursed for 50 percent of the at-issue MSRP for their devices.

If you bought and own one of the devices above and it was still in warranty as of August 3, you are automatically eligible for a warranty extension. Sony will offer limited warranty for damage resulting from water intrusion for 12 additional months. Additionally, if you previously submitted a claim for water-related warranty for one of the devices above and were rejected by Sony, you could be paid up to $300. The preliminary agreement dictates that those who are eligible – those whose water-related warranty claims were rejected – must be reimbursed for 50 percent of the at-issue MSRP for their devices. You can check Page 113 of this document to see the eligible sum for each device.

As the Court document explains, the preliminary agreement is null and void should the Court decide to alter and deny any portion of the settlement, and Sony has the right to terminate the agreement if the total number of timely and valid requests for exclusion exceed 1.5 percent of the putative class members. The Final Order should be issued this December at the earliest, and there may be final changes, but for now, if you think you are eligible, be sure to submit your claim form no later than January 30, 2018.

If you think you are eligible, be sure to submit your claim form no later than January 30, 2018.

Do you own an eligible Xperia device with water damage? Was your warranty claim rejected by Sony? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

Square Enix announces Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition for Android

Final Fantasy XV is coming to mobile, but not in the way you might expect. Today at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, Square Enix let us in on its plans for the FFXV universe and it looks cute as hell.

The brand new Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition is a completely reimaged mobile version of the road trip through Eos. Square Enix describes it as “an all-new adventure that retells the beloved story of Final Fantasy XV.” Pocket Edition will have an all new art style with touch-based controls, though it appears that all the same mechanics will carry over from the console version.

The story will be chopped up into ten episodes that will launch this fall on Android, iOS, and Windows 10. Square Enix says that the first episode will be free with the rest presumably coming as in-app purchases, although pricing information wasn’t provided.

Pocket Edition joins a growing amount of new content based in and around the Final Fantasy VX universe. In addition to consistent story mode updates and a new multiplayer mode on console, it joins a mobile strategy game, a Forza Horizon 3 FFXV car, and an upcoming virtual reality fishing spin-off for PlayStation VR. Square Enix also announced yesterday that the full version of FFXV will launch with an enhanced version on Windows 10 early next year.

Promotional price on Kickstarter success

You’ve got your Samsung Galaxy S8, now you need some equally classy accessories. Look no further – We would stick the XVIDA Magnetic Samsung S8 Charging Kit high on that list. Wireless chargers aren’t a new thing, but if you’ve watched the product video above you gotta admit this would make a pretty kickass addition to your life.

This kickstarter success story will fully charge your device in just 100 minutes, and the super-sleek frame can hold it at a variety of angles. Once you put your phone in the slim-line XVIDA case, the carefully positioned magnets will automatically snap it into the correct position. Cable charging is a thing of the past

Boy does it look cool.

Obviously the design of this charger makes it a sexy piece of desk-candy for the office. But where it really comes into its own is in the car. Forget your old dashboard phone holder – The XVIDA charger will let you use your phone as a Sat Nav while still charging it at high speed. And boy does it look cool.

We’re spotlighting the XVIDA charger today because right now you can pick it up at the promotional price. Usually retailing for $109, today you can get your hands on one for just $83. The offer is on a countdown though, so don’t miss out.

Grab it now in black, silver or gold by hitting the button below.

Is this deal not quite right for you? Head over to the AAPICKS HUB for more savings you’re going to love! For notifications of offers and price drops, sign up for our Deal Alerts newsletter.