With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S9 looming large upon us, rumours and leaks are never-ending. We already had a pretty clear idea as to what this year’s flagship from Samsung will bring to the table. But new reports indicate there’s more than what meets the eye.
Per a new report from the reliable ET News, the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9 Plus will ship with a new display type and a new mainboard technology.
The first is a display technology called Y-Octa (Youm On-Cell Touch AMOLED) technology that allows the touch sensor to be merged directly with the flexible OLED layer. This will make the phone much lighter and thinner apart from making the touchscreen more responsive. The technology was first showcased on the disastrous Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
The second is an introduction of SLP (Substrate Like PCB) mainboards that were first seen on the iPhone X. SLP is a technique to miniaturise circuit boards that will allow Samsung to have more space free inside the chassis. With the extra space, Samsung could fit a bigger battery or the phone may come with better cooling.
However, the report states the new technologies will only be used on Exynos variants of the Galaxy S9 and not on the Qualcomm variants. Due to an old licensing agreement, Samsung cannot sell phones powered by its own Exynos processors in the United States. So the Galaxy S9 will exclusively be powered by the Snapdragon 845 chipset which will not house the newer additions.
It should also be noted that the new features will not have a change in the exterior design of the phone. It is likely that the Galaxy S9 will look a lot similar to its predecessor and Samsung may not have to depend on its marketing team to give enough reasons for people to feel there’s something new in the upcoming flagships.
In what could be a move to challenge Amazon's domination in the market, Google might soon sell audiobooks on its Play Store, media reported.
News portal 9to5google reported late on Saturday that a banner appeared on Google Play for several users stating that audiobooks were now available on Google Play.
"At the time of publishing, that link doesn's work and simply 404's, but it seems to be appearing for all users both on the web and within the Google Play app on Android," the report said.
Although there is no concrete information regarding when the audiobooks would available on Googple Play but it is speculated that the tech giant would soon push audiobooks live in the store.
To celebrate the arrival, Google's banner also mentioned a deal which takes 50 per cent off the first audiobook that a user would purchase.
A few weeks back, Google unveiled its new Arts and Culture app and added a feature that matches selfies with museum artwork. However, back then the feature was limited to the US market and users in India had to use VPNs in order to access the feature. Now though, the company has official launched the feature in India.
The feature works in the same manner as before. It uses computer vision technology to examine a users face, and then compares it against the many pieces of art shared by museums and similar institutions. The user is then showed which of the artworks best matches their selfie along with the percentage of the match. Tapping the artwork reveals more details about the piece.
Google also assures users that the company will not use the data from the phone for any other purpose and will only store the photo for the time it takes to search for matches. Further, it also lets the user know that the feature is still in an experimental stage.
The project as formerly known as the Google Art Project and was launched back in 2011. The initiative aims to make art more accessible in this day and age. The project was launched in collaboration wit 17 international museums located in multiple parts of the world.
Apple has reportedly shared an internal document with Apple Authorised Service Centres to replace iPhone 6 Plus models needing whole-device replacement/repairs with iPhone 6s Plus handsets.
Apple’s internal communication states, “orders for whole unit service inventory of some iPhone 6 Plus models may be substituted to an iPhone 6s Plus until the end of March 2018." It is not clear if all iPhone 6 Plus models needing whole-device repairs will be substituted with iPhone 6s Plus models. There is also no reason specified for the switch, however, the same could owe to a shortage of iPhone 6 Plus batteries till March 2018. Demand for battery replacements on iPhone 6 and later models recently shot up after Apple apologised for throttling iPhone performance due to degrading iPhone batteries and offered cheaper battery replacements.
The Cupertino based company now charges Rs 2,000 for users who wants to replace the batteries on their iPhone 6 or later phones. Apple previously charged about Rs 8,200 for the same.
An older report by MacRumors mentions another internal document by Apple stating that the company will be halting the production of iPhone 6 Plus models, which could also be the reason why the company is offering iPhone 6s Plus replacements instead. If the report is to be believed, Apple may have to restart the production of the iPhone 6 Plus to service future replacement demands for the device.
It’s no secret how intrinsic AI has become for Google. The company is doing some of the most extensive research in the field of artificial intelligence, and Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai is taking the technology very seriously.
At an MSNBC Town Hall arranged in partnership with Recode, Sundar Pichai spoke to Kara Swisher about the importance of AI, apart from talking on other subjects.
“AI is one of the most important things that humanity is working on. It’s more profound that, I don’t know, electricity or fire.”
By drawing parallels to electricity and fire, Pichai essentially said that AI is both useful and dangerous at the same time.
“We learnt to harness fire for the benefits of humanity, but we have to overcome its downsides too.”
Speaking of the benefits, Pichai said Google is researching extensively in the field of AI and said that the technology could play a big role in curing cancer. However, he did acknowledge the need for “balance” to be struck.
“It’s fair to be worried about AI. We want to be thoughtful about it,“ Pichai said.
The excerpts are part of a new series on MSNBC called “Revolution: Google and YouTube Changing the World” where Pichai along with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki were interviewed. The show will air soon on MSNBC.
LG will be launching an upgraded version of its V30 flagship smartphone at the upcoming Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February. The LG V30 (2018) will further leverage the company’s partnership with Google to give the phone its AI chops, reports Korea Herald.
As per the report, LG CEO Jo Seong-jin has instructed the company’s smartphone team to “review the phone from scratch.” At CES this year, Jo had said that LG will “not launch (new models) just because other rivals do,” hinting that the next flagship in the company’s G-series of smartphones will not be unveiled at MWC this year. Although, leaks and rumours about the LG G7 have already started surfacing and the smartphone was also briefly listed on LG's UK website.
Instead, the report states that the LG will utilise its partnership with Google to include AI capabilities on the refreshed V30 handset. One can expect the LG V30 (2018) to house the Google Assistant, as well as some other interesting AI features developed by the company.
LG is also expected to expand the presence of its newly launched LG X4+ mid-range smartphone in more markets. The company recently launched the X4+ in Korea. The LG X4+ runs on the Snapdragon 425 chipset with 2GB RAM and 32GB storage. It comes with a 5.3-inch IPS display and Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box. The entire package is powered by a 3,000 mAh battery and the smartphone also features a 32-bit digital-to-analog converter with 192kHz audio. On the camera front, the LG X4+ shoots 13MP photos using the rear camera and has a 5MP wide-angle camera at the front for selfies.
In India, LG launched the V30 Plus smartphone back in December. In our review of the device, we noted that it “is an impressive smartphone, but the LG still needs to work on the execution. The phone has excellent design, but it needs a better camera, better software and more dependable display to convince match up to other flagships. Yet, it's a phone that audiophiles should certainly consider amongst their options.”
Ride-hailing app Uber has reportedly ignored a security flaw -- discovered by a New Delhi-based security researcher -- that can allow an attacker to hack into user accounts via bypassing its two-factor authentication feature.
"Two-factor authentication is a vital part of protecting online accounts that adds a second layer of security on top of your username and password -- which can be be stolen -- by sending a code by text message to your phone which only you would have access to," tech website ZDNet reported late on Sunday.
"That two-factor code can be bypassed, making the second layer of security protection effectively useless," security researcher Karan Saini was quoted as saying by ZDNet.
The security bug works by exploiting a weakness in how the app authenticates a user when they log in to the platform, thereby letting the user log in to an account and easily defeat the two-factor prompt, without entering the correct code.
Uber reportedly said the security bug "is not a particularly severe" issue.
"This isn't a particularly severe report and is likely expected behaviour," Rob Fletcher, Security Engineering Manager at Uber, said in his correspondence with Saini about the bug report.
Uber began testing two-factor authentication on its systems in 2015 but the company has yet to widely push the security feature to its users.
It’s day two of Amazon’s Great Indian Sale and once again, we’ve curated some of the more interesting smartphone deals that you can check out on this day. Keep in mind that the sale started yesterday and will go on till January 24. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of these deals.
Apple iPhone 6
Apple’s iPhone 6 may not be the newest smartphone from the company, but you still get to enjoy iOS 11. The latest version of the company’s mobile operating system. The phone is priced at Rs 24,999 during the ongoing sale.Buy from here.
Check out our review of the Apple iPhone 6 here.
Honor’s 7X smartphone offers a 5.9-inch Full HD+ display with an 18:9 display aspect ratio. The phone also comes with a dual-rear camera setup with combination of 16MP+2MP cameras. The device is priced at Rs 12,999 during the sale.Buy from here.
Check out our review of the Honor 7X here.
Lenovo K8 Note
Levono’s K8 Note is a pretty impressive smartphone and features a dual-rear camera setup consisting of 13MP+5MP cameras. The phone is sports a 5.5-inch Full HD display and is powered by a MediaTek Helio X23 deca-core processor. The device is priced at Rs 9,999 during the sale.Buy from here.
Moto G5 Plus
The Moto G5 Plus currently offers one of the best cameras for its price. The phone sports a 12MP Dual Autofocus camera at the back. The device is priced at Rs 10,999 during Amazon’s Great Indian Sale.Buy from here.
Check out our review of the Moto G5 Plus here.
OnePlus 5T Lava Red
The new Lava red edition of the OnePlus 5T is available for purchase during the sale. However, there is no flat discount on the phone, but you can get an additional Rs 2,000 off when exchanging an older device. It should be noted that you will be able to enjoy the same offer on the standard version of the OnePlus 5T smartphones as well. Buy from here.
Check out our review of the OnePlus 5T here.
Apple might be working on a 6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD display, alongside a larger 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus, for a September 2018 reveal. The information comes from KGI Securities, an brokerage and investment banking firm known for its accurate estimates of Apple’s iPhone iPhone plans.
According to KGI, Apple will have a three-tier 2018 iPhone lineup consisting of the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, the 6.5-inch OLED iPhone X Plus and a 5.8-inch successor to the iPhone X. The firm also suggests that Apple will stop manufacturing the iPhone X completely once it accelerates the production of its 2018 iPhone portfolio. According to KGI, the iPhone X will “go to end of life around mid-2018.”
As far as the pricing of the 2018 iPhones is concerned, KGI estimates that the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will cost significantly lower than the current iPhone X. The 2018 LCD iPhone is expected to be priced between $650 - $750 (Rs 41,499 - Rs 47,883).
In the same report, KGI also lowered its estimates for iPhone X shipments for the current quarter. According to analysts at the firm, Apple will ship 18 million iPhone X units this quarter and 13 million in the next one, compared to a previous estimate of 20-30 million units. The flagship phone from Apple is apparently not doing too well in China, where customers are not too pleased with its notch design.
The Apple iPhone X was launched in India back in November 2017. The smartphone comes bearing a new design and an expensive Rs 1.2 Lakh price tag for the 256GB variant. The iPhone X comes with a bezel-less all-screen design, except for the 'notch' that houses Apple's new TrueDepth camera system. The iPhone X also won Digit's Zero1 Award for the Best Premium Smartphone in 2017.
In another attempt to ‘fix’ Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social networking site will allow users to prioritise news content that a group of Facebook users have ranked as trustworthy.
In a blog post, Facebook’s Head of News, Adam Mosseri announced that the company has surveyed “a diverse and representative sample” of US citizens about the trust and familiarity of multiple news sources.
The survey will be used to implement News Feed rankings and Facebook plans to test the feature first in the US before rolling it out globally. Starting next week, “publications deemed trustworthy by people using Facebook may see an increase in their distribution.” Consequently, Mosseri wrote, “publications that do not score highly as trusted by the community may see a decrease.”
As part of the survey, users will be asked if they’re familiar with a news source and whether they trust it.
Mark Zuckerberg wrote on a Facebook post, “The idea is that some news organisations are only trusted by their readers or watchers, and others are broadly trusted across society even by those who don’t follow them directly.”
Facebook will essentially eliminate sources that people aren’t familiar with, “so the output is a ratio of those who trust the source to those who are familiar with it.”
The move is part of Facebook’s broader attempt at revamping the News Feed to make it more personalised. Mark Zuckerberg’s agenda this year, according to a Facebook post he wrote at the beginning of 2018, is to “encourage meaningful social interactions with family and friends over passive consumption.”
As part of the revamping process, the News Feed will not display less public content like news and promotions from brands.
Additionally, Facebook will also give priority to local news and will "continue to work on ways to show more local news that is relevant to where people live."
As per the Facebook Post, news will now make up four percent of content in the news feed, instead of five percent. However, Zuckerberg says the change “will not change the amount of news you see.”
“It will only shift the balance of news you see towards sources that are determined to be trusted by the community. My hope is that this update about trusted news and last week’s update about meaningful interactions will help make time on Facebook time well spent,” Zuckerberg wrote.