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Acer’s Liquid Jade Primo is a flagship Windows 10 phone that doubles somewhat as a pocket PC

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Contrary to what you may have seen on the news, Microsoft isn’t the only company with an interest in seeing Windows 10 Mobile take off.

Amid sluggish growth — which according to industry analyst IDC, won’t get much better in the foreseeable future — and a dismal 2015 that saw its mobile operating system’s market share dip to 2.2 percent (compared to Android’s 81 percent), Microsoft has found a hardware partner in Acer, which produced the phone you’re looking at now.

This is Acer’s Liquid Jade Primo, a flagship Windows 10 Mobile handset that flaunts more curves than anything Microsoft or any other Windows phone maker has built in the past. But that’s not to say we haven’t seen anything like it; we’ve seen this design plenty of times on Acer smartphones running Android.

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And that’s good to hear, as the Primo is smooth to the touch and more comfortable to hold and operate than its size would suggest. In keeping with Acer’s Liquid designation, soft melted wax is a good way to describe how it feels in the hand.

If there’s one major criticism we’d level at the Primo it’s that the casing is made of lightweight plastic. We get that aluminum unibody enclosures aren’t for everyone, but considering the sticker price, we can’t help but think that premium build materials could have been incorporated in the final design.

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Like Microsoft’s Lumia 950 phones, the Primo has a 5.5-inch OLED display with a layer of curved-edge Corning Gorilla Glass on top for added scratch resistance. The screen maxes out at 1080p, which is a shame considering phones in its class typically have Quad HD panels. The 21-megapixel camera around the back impresses in terms of megapixel count, though we’ll have to wait to see how it performs in various situations before passing judgement.

Powering the Primo is a Snapdragon 808 processor with 3GB of RAM. Its 32GB internal storage is expandable using a microSD card, though at the expense of a second SIM card slot. In our brief testing, we found it responsive and snappy, without any of the jitters you may find in premium, Android-based smartphones.

What really sets this Acer apart from majority of phones on the market is Continuum, Windows 10 Mobile’s killer feature that allows smartphones to function somewhat like desktop PCs when plugged into a dock that connects to a TV or monitor.

And while Continuum only works with apps under Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (legacy apps might never see a release on the Windows Store, though help is at hand), those who rely heavily on Microsoft’s core productivity software will surely find it valuable.

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The Acer Liquid Jade Primo will retail for P28,990 ($630) in the Philippines when it hits select stores later this week. For the price, you get a dock, mouse, and keyboard to complete the pocket PC experience.

[irp posts=”2150″ name=”5 products from [email protected] event that caught our attention”]

Apps

TikTok, Tencent linked to sexually violent ads on Facebook

Ads continue to run on platform

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Facebook has an ad problem. After spending years on the platform, you might have noticed a plethora of misplaced ads occasionally peppered on your feed. Though most users cringe at how the algorithm can uncannily show appropriate ads right after talking about a certain topic, a series of more off-putting, offensive, and disturbing ads is making the rounds on the social media platform. Now, following a deep dive, a report has found that ByteDance and Tencent are affiliated with the phenomenon.

What are these Facebook ads? In a report from Forbes’s Emily Baker-White, several web novel companies are advertising erotic content on the platform. However, more than just erotica, these ads promote sexual, violence, rape, and self-harm. Some are even using images of popular personalities without their permission.

A particularly egregious example involves a photo of a crying woman in the shower with the caption: “his personal cum bucket.” A few others are more up front about harming women to get sex.

Others depict scenes from Twilight and Star Wars, despite not being affiliated at all with the titles. Several companies and personalities contacted by Forbes confirmed that they did not give these novel apps any permission to use their likeness.

As for the deep dive, a good number of these companies were previously backed by either ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, or Tencent, one of the biggest Chinese companies in the world. While ByteDance has claimed that the apps don’t reflect their values, these ads continue to proliferate around the platform. Tencent has likewise denied any involvement with the campaigns.

It’s also worth nothing that the apps aren’t limited to just China. One app, called Pinky Novel, operates from the Philippines and is spreading similarly troubling ads everywhere, including one that says, “Raped by Mr. CEO.”

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Apple has been raided in South Korea

For alleged anti-market practices

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The troubles for Apple will continue. After spending a length of time fighting investigations all over the world for alleged anti-competition practices, the company’s offices in South Korea have been raided by authorities to further the investigation in the country.

Covered by Foss Patents (via MacRumors), the Korea Fair Trade Commission conducted a raid on the offices at the break of dawn. Authorities reportedly staged the raid after a developer complained of an unfair commission rate. According to the complaint, developers are paying more than 30 percent commission for having their apps on the App Store.

For a rougher breakdown, Apple still charges 30 percent. However, the commission includes VAT, which spikes the total fees paid above 30 percent. In contrast, Google’s 30 percent commission policy does not include VAT, which makes for a lower fee for developers.

With the number of apps on the App Store, Apple is making significant bank by skimming a bit more on commissions. That is, if the allegations prove true, of course. Right now, the company is still under investigation. But, if anything, a dawn raid isn’t a good sign for the iPhone maker.

Apple isn’t the only one in hot water, though. Google is also facing a similar controversy in South Korea. However, instead of the Korea Fair Trade Commission, the Kora Communications Commission is pushing for more parity between Google and Apple.

SEE ALSO: South Korea investigating Apple and Google for app payments

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Android users can react to SMS messages from iPhones soon

While simultaneously annoying iPhone users

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One of the most unexpected small developments this year is the war of the green bubble. For a while now, Apple has kept Android users inside a green text bubble. If an Android user texts an iOS user, an iPhone conveniently lets its user know that someone is texting them from — gasp — an Android phone. Now, Google, in the next step of its crusade against the green bubble, is running a similar experiment of its own.

Recently, as spotted by Reddit user u/Jabjab345 (via GSMArena), Google is testing a new feature for Android users. In a beta version, users can start reacting to SMS messages from an iPhone. Of course, much like how it is from the other way around, there is a little hiccup.

In most web-based messaging services, reactions are often tiny bubbles attached to one corner of the message. However, since iOS and Android use different systems, it doesn’t work that way between the two platforms. Instead, if an iOS user reacts to an Android user’s message, users get a separate message with the emoji reaction. Now (or after the beta, at least), Android will treat iOS in the same way, sending iOS users a separate message for reactions.

Right now, the feature is still in beta. However, an implementation is par for the course. Previously, Google threw some shade at Apple for not adopting the system that the former uses. In retaliation, Tim Cook recently told a user to just buy their mom an iPhone if texting was such an issue.

SEE ALSO: Apple on adopting Android’s features: Just ‘buy your mom an iPhone’

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