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Android One was never really dead

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Earlier today, Xiaomi launched the Mi A1, which is the international version of the Mi 5X. Doesn’t sound so exciting at first, but the real story here is the reintroduction of Android One to the world.

As it turns out, Android One was never really dead. We questioned its existence a year ago after noticing a lack of smartphones with the pure operating system installed, and having witnessed only a few signs of life since then.

In a blog entry posted right after Xiaomi’s announcement, Google makes it seem like Android One was active all along, although they could barely name more than one manufacturer that has supported the platform in the past year. The search giant then mentioned its plans to work with “more partners” — notice the plural form there.

From our own database, the two most prominent backers of Android One have been General Mobile and Sharp, which aren’t exactly household names in the smartphone business, but were vital in keeping the ship afloat.

Android One is an excellent platform to build on, and shouldn’t have lost the momentum started by its initial launch in 2014. The first generations of smartphones under the program had the purest form of the operating system, as well as access to the latest Android updates and security patches.

Buying an Android One phone was like going for a Nexus (still remember those?) minus the added premium. The platform made a name for itself with affordable handsets without any bloatware from manufacturers or telcos, which is the true essence of open-sourced Android in the first place.

If Google’s partnership with Xiaomi is a sign of things to come, we’re in for a smooth ride. Xiaomi’s presence is well established in the two most populated consumer markets in the world: China and India. The two nations also have a strong preference toward products that are easy on the pockets — something that Google and Xiaomi can capitalize on with offerings like the Mi A1.

The questions that remain are: Is Xiaomi’s worldwide recognition enough to bring Android One back to prominence? And will this partnership lead to more opportunities for Android purists to get the latest updates without spending for a Pixel?

Google is well known for leaving projects in the dust — look no further than Project Ara and Google Glass as examples — but Android One is neither just a project or another operating system; it’s still the company’s gateway to the next five billion.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi unveils Mi A1 with Android One and dual cameras

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OPPO Find X will have the highest screen-to-body ratio in smartphones

Even higher than the Vivo NEX!

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Image from Twitter: @VenyaGeskin1

OPPO is all set to announce their latest smartphone. We’re only a day away from the official unveiling of the Chinese company’s newest device, but OPPO just can’t hide its excitement about the phone’s main feature.

The OPPO Find X will be announced at The Louvre in Paris, France on June 19. The location alone already signals that it’ll be grand and that OPPO wants to make a mark in the European market. The Find X should be a premium device in order for the company to entice more international consumers just like what Huawei is doing in the EU region. What does the Find X have that others don’t? A true borderless display.

Just like the NEX phones from Vivo, the Find X will have a high screen-to-body ratio. OPPO teases that it has the highest at 93.8 percent which beats the Vivo NEX’s 91.24 percent. The company even calls it a “Futuristic Flagship phone” and we’re already excited to see (and confirm) it in person.

The phone is expected to have the latest Snapdragon 845 processor, great cameras, and speedy VOOC charging technology.

Via: Twitter (@bang_gogo_)

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Bloo Vision is a non-invasive way to help your child’s lazy eye

As easy as playing a game!

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What if I told you that you could help cure your child’s lazy eye by having him play games? One startup aims to cure vision impairment in children, one tablet at a time.

Bloo offers a non-invasive solution to the lazy eye through tech. It’s simple: Their devices use binocular training and gameplay to make sure that kids have fun in the process.

Just how does this all work?  It starts with eyewear and a tablet, plus a game to play on said tablet.

These unassuming shades are custom-made. At first wear, they seem like normal glasses, but a quick look at the seemingly blank tablet will show you that they aren’t.

Playing games on this tablet with glasses custom-fitted to your child’s condition trains the eyes. By making sure that both eyes are utilized, your child’s eyes will be trained to fully function. This is similar to already-existing binocular training already being done, except there are no cumbersome eye patches, there are fun games to play, and you get to do it at your own time.

You can check out Bloo here.

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Toyota makes $1 billion investment in Grab

The ride-sharing company hopes to expand operations through the partnership

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Japanese car company Toyota Motor Corporation announced its US$ 1 billion investment plan for the ride-sharing app Grab last Wednesday. Toyota’s investment aims to improve Grab’s operations in Southeast Asia, particularly towards the app’s new features in GrabFood, GrabExpress, and GrabPay.

Grab officials stated that the investment improves their relationship with Toyota and provides better business solutions, as well. Both companies will look into new strategies towards vehicular mobility in Southeast Asia and better “online-to-offline services.” The investment also ensures that an executive from Toyota will be appointed in Grab’s board of directors, and a team member will be an executive officer in Grab.

The investment will also allow Toyota to integrate its services for driver insurance and maintenance. This means that Grab will provide incentives for its drivers to drive safely and to know when to have their vehicles checked. The two companies are also looking into the possibility of autonomous driving, although no plans have been made yet.

This is not the first time Toyota has provided financial support for the Singapore-based ride-sharing company. A year ago, Toyota funded Grab through its Next Technology Fund — an investment fund for artificial intelligence-based startups. The fund gave Toyota an opportunity to optimize the use of their cars for Grab’s services.

Source: TechCrunch

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