News

Apple patents a holed iPhone design

Designs are similar to Samsung’s and Huawei’s plans

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Once again, the smartphone industry has devolved into an all-out arms race. With everyone’s release schedules drained, the quest is on for 2019’s next big smartphone. 2018 was all about the notch. What will 2019 be like?

Based on existing rumors, the industry is exploring a plethora of options. Among others, these options include a fully integrated screen, a foldable phone, and a holed phone. For the past few weeks, companies have been staking their claim on their preferred form factor. Huawei is developing a foldable phone and a holed phone. Samsung is reportedly developing all three possible form factors for next year.


Traditionally, Apple wages its own war on other fronts, leaving the form factor battle for other companies. Of course, Apple never needed to compete. When it comes to form factors, the company has perfected its own theory on design. Notoriously, the wide notch was popularized by the iPhone X.

Image source: LetsGoDigital

However, despite their dominance in design, Apple is hinting at a new direction in the coming years. Revealed by LetsGoDigital, Apple has recently patented a holed smartphone. Rather than the ubiquitous notch, the depicted phone does not have a bezel. Instead, it has a hole for the front-facing camera sensor. According to the patent, this might come buried underneath the phone’s screen. As a result, Apple’s new patent combines both a holed phone and an integrated screen.

Of course, patents represent a still-forthcoming technology. As of now, Apple is showing a possibility. The company can still change directions between now and next year’s release schedule.

Traditionally, Apple launches its products between the third and fourth quarters. As such, Apple’s future still lags behind other companies’ release schedules. If the patent rings true, it will come after everyone else’s.

SEE ALSO: Apple thinks the iPhone XR isn’t selling well, according to report

Apps

Netflix is testing a new mobile-only subscription in Asia

Might cost less than PhP 200

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By now, subscription services have slowly taken over our monthly budgets. Cable hookups, premium Spotify accounts, Netflix subscriptions, gym memberships — it never stops. Unfortunately, the world is moving from single-purchase models into monthly renewals. Don’t you just wish for a better bang for your buck?

Netflix is currently testing a more flexible pricing scheme in select territories. In India, the streaming company has introduced a mobile-only subscription plan worth half the price of the basic plan. India’s basic plan — one screen, standard definition — costs INR 500 (around US$ 7.23). Meanwhile, the mobile-only plan costs only INR 250 (around US$ 3.61).


In an interview with Variety, a Netflix spokesperson confirmed the possible options “where members can, for example, watch Netflix on their mobile device for a lower price and subscribe in shorter increments of time.”

Currently, all of Netflix plans are measured in months. Based on the statement, Netflix is potentially exploring weekly plans, besides a medium-oriented plan.

In terms of location, Netflix has trialed this new pricing scheme in Malaysia and India. Unfortunately, the company has not confirmed other territories for the future. However, given the location of the first two tests, the company will likely implement the scheme in mobile-centric countries in the Asian region. Currently, India is one of Asia’s hotspots for smartphone technology.

Given the trend, the Philippines will likely join India and Malaysia in the future. The country is also a developing hotspot for smartphones. As such, a Netflix mobile-only plan will likely find a lot of supporters in the country. For reference, the mobile-only plan will probably cost PhP 185 (half of the basic PhP 370 plan).

Of course, the only remaining problem will be the country’s abysmal data coverage.

SEE ALSO: Netflix knows what you want and lets you watch without buffering

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Gaming

You may not be able to play PUBG for more than 6 hours in a day

Still better than banning the game completely

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Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds mobile edition needs no introduction. It has been the most trending multiplayer game for the last year and the trend shows no sign of cooling down. The game has been a hit in countries like India and players are hooked on it for hours.

Though, the game has received intense scrutiny from authorities because of its addictive stance. There have been multiple reports of addiction death and authorities have been scrambling to ban the game. Parents are worried about their children not being able to concentrate on studies and educational institutes have reported lower attendance as well as poor academic performance.


To counter bans and indirectly help players avoid addiction, PUBG is testing a six-hour per day gameplay limit. According to SportsKeeda, the app is sending a health reminder to players after six hours of gameplay and asking them to take a break. The game also has an age verification request now, which asks players if they are over the age of 18.

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The new limit isn’t active for all users right now and is currently in a testing phase. While some users are reporting seeing the message after two to four hours of gaming, some are being locked out after six hours of usage. It seems only players in India are seeing this at the moment and other regions haven’t been affected.

This restriction comes after the game was banned in Gujarat and multiple arrests were made by the police. The Chinese government recently banned PUBG Mobile for players under the age of 13.

There is no official word from PUBG Mobile on this health reminder-based daily gameplay limit yet. The addition may irk some users, but it’s the first step towards ensuring the game isn’t outright banned.

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Enterprise

Huawei executive caught using Apple products

Owned a Huawei Mate 20 RS, though

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Just like its competitors, Huawei is an intensely competitive smartphone brand. In the past, the company has thrown a lot of shade against its market rivals. The most notable recipient, however, is Apple. Huawei has even punished its employees for using Apple’s products. Not for nothing, the Chinese company has since overtaken Apple in the standings.

Given Huawei’s competitive nature, it would be ironic if the company’s head honchos were using a competitor’s products. Funny enough, that’s what happened.


Late last year, Huawei’s chief finance officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada for illegal business practices. Since then, the Huawei heir languished in house arrest. Her extradition remained in a state of uncertainty.

However, a recent court filing has revealed more information about the arrest. According to the report, Canadian authorities seized a curious number of Apple products. Meng was using an iPhone 7 Plus, a MacBook Air, and an iPad Pro. In her defense, she also carried one Huawei phone — the Huawei Mate 20 RS Porsche Design.

Because of the seizure, Meng’s lawyers requested authorities for a copy of the data. They also asked for the devices to be sealed. Canada has since agreed to the request.

Regardless, Meng’s ownership of a mainly Apple ecosystem is an ironic fact amid the company’s geopolitical troubles. If anything, it’s a refreshing break from the usual strife that Huawei has gotten into over the past year.

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