Android Use “Purely On Merit”: Facebook After Reports Of Snub To Apple

Android Use 'Purely On Merit': Facebook After Reports Of Snub To Apple

Dismissing a media report that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ordered his management team to use only Android phones after his tiff with Apple CEO Tim Cook, the social media network today said the decision to use Android is because it is the most popular operating system in the world.

The New York Times yesterday said that “after Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, quipped in an interview that his company did not traffic in personal data, Mr Zuckerberg ordered his management team to use only Android phones“.

In a statement today, Facebook said Mr Zuckerberg’s disagreement with Mr Cook is only over the business model.

“Tim Cook has consistently criticised our business model and Mark has been equally clear he disagrees. So there’s been no need to employ anyone else to do this for us,” Facebook said.

“And we’ve long encouraged our employees and executives to use Android because it is the most popular operating system in the world,” the social networking giant added.

In a Recode and MSNBC interview in March this year, Mr Cook had called for increased regulation of social media, and questioned the practice of monetising user data on free platforms by selling ads that allow advertisers to target specific groups.

The Apple CEO was asked how he would handle the crisis Facebook is facing.

“I wouldn’t be in this situation,” he said.

“The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetised our customer… If our customer was our product,… We’ve elected not to do that.”

Reacting to Mr Cook’s remarks, Mr Zuckerberg had said his remarks about the social networking giant were “extremely glib”.

COMMENT

Mr Zuckerberg said that Facebook remains free to use because it’s focused on connecting people and many people can’t afford to pay, therefore, “having an advertising-supported model is the only rational model that can support building this service to reach people”.

[“source=ndtv”]

Samsung Galaxy M2 packing Exynos 7885 chipset goes through Geekbench

The first benchmark result of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy M series has surfaced in the Geekbench database. Going by the SM-M205F model name, this should be a “Samsung Galaxy M2”.

The phone is powered by an Exynos 7885 chipset, the same one used in the 2018 edition of some Galaxy A phones, including the recent Galaxy A7 (2018). The phone packed 3GB of RAM, which will likely be paired with 32GB storage (there should be a 64GB one, potentially with 4GB of RAM).

Samsung Galaxy M2 (SM-M205F) at Geekbench
Samsung Galaxy M2 (SM-M205F) at Geekbench

That’s a more powerful chipset than we expected out of the M-series, which takes over from the Galaxy On models, which were rebranded Galaxy J phones offered online only. The Galaxy J2 Core, for example, uses an Exynos 7570 chipset with a quad-core processor. Even the Galaxy J6+ had to settle for a Snapdragon 425 (also quad-core CPU).

The 7885 is a 14nm chip with two relatively fast Cortex-A73 cores and six A53 cores, plus a Mali-G71 GPU. Keep in mind that the Galaxy M2 is clearly aimed at the entry-level and this is a mid-range chip.

[“source=cnbc”]

Android Pie Beta launches for the LG G7 ThinQ in South Korea

Today, LG opened its “LG OS Preview” for LG G7 ThinQ users in the brand’s home region of South Korea which could signal that the phone maker is gearing up to push the Android Pie update in the coming weeks. Note that this update is different from the Pie update that rolled out on the Android One edition of the phone, which doens’t have LG-branded software.

LG wasn’t ever the best at providing quick updates for major Android releases. Today’s news does show that LG is acting a bit quicker to update its previous devices. by contrast, last year it took until the very end of December for LG to start testing an Oreo update for the LG G6 before a Beta was even available to users.

Users in Korea can sign up for the Preview by going into the “Quick Help” app and finding the “LG OS preview” banner. New changes include a new Gesture Home Button, new battery saving feature, new adaptive brightness will learn your preferred brightness setting (kind of how Samsung does it). There’s also a new preview when you take a screenshot and you can press and hold the power button to lock the phone.

LG hasn’t offered a Beta program like this in the US so we probably won’t see Pie on the G7 until the final firmware is complete. We expect that LG is going to release the final Pie update sometime later in December or early next year. Hopefully we’ll get to see a changelog in English before then (the changes noted above were roughly translated from Korean).

[“source=cnbc”]

Realme U1 spotted in the wild with dual cameras

Realme is launching its next device, called Realme U1, and it is going to be the first smartphone with Helio P70 chipset. Up until now, we knew the selfie camera will be positioned in the waterdrop notch, but thanks to a photo in the wild, we also know how the back will look.

Unsurprisingly, it will follow the product design from Realme 2 and will come with a horizontal dual camera setup and a circular fingerprint scanner. The phone also has a neat Pink panel and hopefully, it will arrive with other fancy colors.

The person, holding the photo, is the company CEO Madhav Sheth. He is seen taking selfies after winning awards for Most Disruptive Brand of the Year and Best Smartphone of the Year (under INR20,000) with the Realme 2 Pro. The photo comes with a watermark, revealing the Realme U1 will rely heavily on AI, and it looks like you can set up your own name to appear on the image.

First Realme U1 selfie sample

Realme U1 is aiming to be “India’s Selfie Pro” and the company claims it will have “the most powerful selfie camera ever”. We are yet to see what sensor and what AI magic is hiding behind these monikers, we hope to see the 25 MP snapper that is seen in top-notch Oppo smartphones, including the Find X.

[“source=cnbc”]

Samsung is working on a six-camera smartphone with 5G and a large 6.7-inch display

Today, a new report comes from The Wall Street Journal out of Seoul, claiming that Samsung is working on a “top-secret” device with 6 cameras: two in the front and four on the rear with the promise of “richer photos and better special perception”. It sounds like Samsung wants to go after the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, which launched with three cameras and can shoot up to 5x hybrid zoom and macro shots up to 2.5cm close to the camera.

This alleged Samsung device is referred to the “Beyond X” which also is said to have 5G connectivity and come with a large 6.7-inch display, larger than the 6.4-inch display on the Galaxy Note9 and the purported one coming on the Galaxy S10+, also 6.4-inches. According to the report, Samsung has “saved” features for this device to differentiate itself from other offerings.

Alleged design of the Galaxy S10 and S10+

The same report further revealed information about the Samsung Galaxy S10, as well. For one, both the Galaxy S10 family (two or three models) is set to arrive in February, possibly for a mid-month event, along with the Beyond X. Considering that The MWC starts on February 25, should the timeframe be true, Samsung might be looking at another New York City launch event.

The other tidbit is that the Galaxy S10 could have reverse wireless charging like the Mate 20 Pro. We hope this means that Samsung will put even larger batteries into the upcoming Galaxy S10 duo. Finally, Samsung’s foldable smartphone could be called the “Galaxy Flex” or “Samsung Flex”, which is interesting considering LG used the name “Flex” in the LG G Flex series of phones with flexible displays. This was an interesting time for smartphones.

Does Samsung really need to build a phone with six cameras? No, but the trend apparently has become “how many more cameras can we fit into it?” so we wonder how many cameras it will take before phone makers start using larger sensors instead of multiple small sensors – if larger sensors ever do take off in smartphones.

[“source=cnbc”]

Google Pixel 3 XL with Android Q pops up on Geekbench

Plenty of manufacturers have already started pushing Android Pie to their devices, with Google, of course, being the first. Android Pie was announced in June, with actual rollout happening in October and all eyes are now set on the Android Q development.

We still don’t know how the OS will be called, but it appears the Mountain View company is already working on the update. A Google Pixel 3 XL smartphone was listed on Geekbench with Android Q for an operating system, suggesting an alpha package is already being tested.

The rest of the listing, revealing Qualcomm chipset and 4 GB RAM is familiar stuff, the scores are normal as well.

Although it is way too early to know anything about Android Q, we know all devices with the OS out of the box will be Treble-compliant. Last week Google confirmed that devices shipped with Android Pie would be on the faster upgrade platform and the AOSP source code is fixed so developers can prepare in advance for any future operating system updates.

[“source=cnbc”]

Google Pixel 3 XL with Android Q pops up on Geekbench

Plenty of manufacturers have already started pushing Android Pie to their devices, with Google, of course, being the first. Android Pie was announced in June, with actual rollout happening in October and all eyes are now set on the Android Q development.

We still don’t know how the OS will be called, but it appears the Mountain View company is already working on the update. A Google Pixel 3 XL smartphone was listed on Geekbench with Android Q for an operating system, suggesting an alpha package is already being tested.

The rest of the listing, revealing Qualcomm chipset and 4 GB RAM is familiar stuff, the scores are normal as well.

Although it is way too early to know anything about Android Q, we know all devices with the OS out of the box will be Treble-compliant. Last week Google confirmed that devices shipped with Android Pie would be on the faster upgrade platform and the AOSP source code is fixed so developers can prepare in advance for any future operating system updates.

[“source=cnbc”]

Google’s Digital Wellbeing app no longer in beta

One of the trends in smartphone software this year is the ability to track and manage time spent within apps or setting limits for time-wasters like social media. This is one of the better trends to come from 2018 with many phone makers offering a different take on this. With that said, Google’s Digital Wellbeing app is no longer in beta.

If you wanted to use the Digital Wellbeing app on the Google Pixel 2 or Pixel 3, you had to sign up for a beta using your Google account. This is no longer the case as the app is now officially stable and out of beta. It is now available to all Google Pixel devices and all devices running the vanilla-flavored Android One OS.

Source: Play Store

Unfortunately, the app is not available for non-Google devices running Android Pie, but perhaps down the line Google might offer support for these brands like OnePlus and Essential, who run near-stock Android skins on their phones.

If you want to install the Digital Wellbeing dashboard on your Pixel or Android One smartphone, all you need to do is search and download it from the Play Store. Once installed, it won’t be in your app drawer – it will be in the Settings menu.

From here, you can view how long you are spending on which apps and set limits and conditions to keep off timewasters during times that productivity is needed.

[“source=cnbc”]

Google Assistant just updated with Siri Shortcuts: “Hey Siri… Hey Google”

Google apps have always taken a backseat behind Apple’s own offerings for Maps, Music, and even with Siri. Let’s face it, many people find Siri to be inferior to the Google Assistant in many aspects including voice recognition. Today’s news makes it one step easier to access Google Assistant via Siri Shortcuts.

The latest version of Google Assistant for iOS supports Apple’s Shortcuts app, which lets you program a list of tasks to perform using a vocal phrase with Siri or a shortcut that you add to a homescreen. Now, you can set the Shortcuts app to open Google Assistant with a phrase that you choose. For example, you can tell Siri “Goodnight” and it would turn set itself to Do Not Disturb mode and switch on the blue light filter.

You could program the phrase “Hey Google” as a shortcut to launch the Google Assistant app. Once launched, the Assistant app will be listening for a command right away. This means that you could actually say “Hey Siri, Hey Google”, then wait a few seconds for Assistant to open and then speak your command to Google.

It’s not the most elegant solution, but it is better than saying “Hey Siri, open Google Assistant….. Hey Google”. You can even make it more elaborate and program a phrase to access a Google Assistant Routine. We just hope Siri’s feelings don’t get hurt.

[“source=cnbc”]

Women deserve a place in UT’s gaming community

Search the phrase “gamer girl” on Google and you’ll find hypersexualized images of women with controllers and headsets.

Girl gamers seldom receive equal treatment from the gaming community. Either they are given special attention or they’re regarded as unskilled and soft. This discrimination is evident through the way girl streamers are treated on popular sites such as Twitch and the depictions of women in popular games. More recent controversies, such as the harassment of female game developers, have also shown the extent of the mistreatment girls in the gaming community experience.

This deters girls from socializing in online games and joining the competitive realm even though they cherish gaming and work as hard as their male counterparts.

UT should take into consideration the rampant misogyny and exclusion of women within the gaming community by creating a space for girl gamers within the new esports program in Intramural Sports.

Intramural Sports recently held its first esports tournament with the football game Madden NFL 19. Competitors Johnson Zhang, an electrical engineering sophomore, and economics junior James Clucas said there were no girls in the entire competition. In Longhorn Gaming, UT’s competitive gaming organization, there are only between 10 and 20 female members compared to 100 male members, said Sarah Schneider, public relations manager for Longhorn Gaming. None of the female gamers play on competitive teams.

“It is really hard to reach females on campus that play,” corporate communication senior Schneider said. “I don’t think girls want to play competitively because of that harassment factor.”

Jennifer Speer, senior director of RecSports, said the tournaments are going to remain sports-based with games such as FIFA and Rocket League coming up next. Schneider said girl-specific tournaments would help girl gamers on campus feel more comfortable participating competitively without the toxicity of typical competitive gaming. These tournaments could feature games more popular among girls, such as Overwatch.

Both Clucas and Zhang agree there is sexism in the gaming community, but Zhang said girls wouldn’t want a tournament specifically for them because they would feel singled out. All three of the girl gamers I talked to disagreed. Dominique Velazquez , French studies sophomore and gamer, said girls would benefit from having an all-female league.

“We’re already targeted and pinpointed in the normal gaming community,” Velazquez said. “Having a girl league would definitely help girls find people with the same interests as them, and they definitely won’t feel that misogyny.”

Amanda Tran, communications director for Longhorn Gaming, said girls in the organization get discouraged from trying out for competitive teams because they don’t feel skilled enough and aren’t taken seriously.

Both Tran and Schneider have been gaming for years and said they are used to the way girls are treated in online games. They agreed that a girl-centric event would be exciting and could potentially bring more girls into the gaming community at UT.

“Some girls just prefer playing with girls because they empower each other,” nutrition junior Tran said.

A tournament dedicated to girls would unite the girl gamer community at UT. Speer said RecSports is open to the idea but needs to analyze the attendance of the tournaments to see what kind of distinctions need to be made. If they dedicate a tournament, it will be a step toward destigmatizing the role of females in esports and gaming.

Women have come a long way in various male-dominated fields, and girl gamers shouldn’t get left behind in the field of esports. By connecting women in gaming and giving them a space to empower one another, many will get the validation and comfort they have been discouraged from seeking out.

[“source=forbes]