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Apple might not provide free audio adapter dongles anymore

Is it time to go wireless for real?

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Do you have a drawer full of unused earphones, tangled forever in a maze of oblivion? Much like the ghastly camera notch, we all have Apple to thank for our forgotten audiophilic hardware.

In 2016, Apple did away with the 3.5mm audio port for all existing and future iPhones. Accordingly, the move created an industry-wide cascade that killed the port in favor of the more universal USB Type-C. Wired earphones quickly fell from grace.

Thankfully, phones (both iPhone and Android) began shipping with a free adapter dongle to their respective ports. The audio industry enjoyed a slight reprieve from the impending end.

Sadly, that all might change in a flash this year. In an investor’s note, analysts strongly hint that Apple will not bundle a free audio dongle starting this year.

From 2016 to now, audio hardware supplier Cirrus Logic was instrumental in transitioning Apple to a wireless future. The company created valuable hardware (including the dongle) for Apple. As such, Cirrus’ financial results escalated beyond expectations in their most recent statement.

Cirrus’ quarterly financial statement “all but confirms that Apple will not bundle the DAC headset converter ‘dongle’ in its new iPhone models,” according to Cowen analyst Matthew D. Ramsay. Regardless, he notes that the dongle will continue distribution for older iPhone models.

Recently, Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis also predicted the dongle’s demise. He states that there are no models for the dongle this year.

If true, the dongle’s end will spell a modicum of outrage from concerned Apple users. However, with the industry adapting to the trend already, the backlash will not escalate to the same heights as in 2016.

Already, the audio industry is pumping out earphones with a USB Type-C connector, instead of the traditional 3.5mm connector. Also, wireless audio has drastically improved over the past couple of years.

If anything, Apple’s latest move will further irk purists who prefer wired connections over wireless ones. For most users, alternatives already exist. Additionally, Apple will still sell the dongle separately for around US$ 9.

SEE ALSO: Apple plans to remove the iPhone’s Lightning port soon

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Samsung’s next phones could have an under-screen camera

No bezels, too!

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As 2018 rolls to a close, the hunt for a truly bezel-less phone continues. Across the industry, companies have invented waterdrop notches, pop-up sensors, and holed screens. However, for all their glitter and glamour, all these inventions have barely grazed the concept of a truly bezel-less screen.

Now, Samsung is inching closer and closer to the next step of screen technology. Based on a presentation from China, the company has detailed its plans for next year’s smartphones. Particularly, they are launching an all-out war against notches and buttons.

From renowned Samsung source Ice Universe, Samsung will integrate everything into the screen. Previously, the company hinted this integration through rumors of an under-screen fingerprint sensor. However, this goes beyond that.

Aside from a fingerprint sensor, Samsung’s new screen will (shockingly) integrate sensors inside the panel. In other words, Samsung’s next front-facing camera will settle in under the screen! Beaming with confidence, Samsung has made the boldest claim: Next year’s phones won’t have a visible selfie camera at all.

Additionally, Samsung makes another bold move: Sound on Display. As is standard for every phone today, the front-facing sensors usually pair with the phone’s speakers. According to Samsung, that pairing will become a thing of the past. Strangely, Samsung’s new phones will emit sound straight from the screen.

Unfortunately, Samsung has not detailed how exactly this works. However, the company’s presentation confirms the claims, at least. We can expect these developments in the near future.

Currently, Samsung’s lineup consists of the Galaxy S10 series early next year. So far, swirling rumors haven’t pointed towards this interesting new form factor. If anything, Samsung will also out the Galaxy Note 9’s successor and a foldable smartphone. The planned developments can come with any of these. Regardless of the uncertainty, Samsung’s blueprints are the closest we’ve gotten to a truly bezel-less phones.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) has insane quadruple rear cameras

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OnePlus 6T launch set a day earlier because of Apple

Now on October 29

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“What do we do now?”

That was the question OnePlus CEO and founder Pete Lau asked himself and his team after finding out that Apple set their next major event on the same date as the OnePlus 6T launch.

What OnePlus originally thought would be the best, most timely date to unveil their upcoming flagship after all the launches we’ve seen this month, turned out being the worst.

“Our goal is to make sure it gets the time and attention it deserves,” Lau said in a blog post on the company’s official forum. “[Feedback] showed us that if we chose to stick to our original timeline, launching the OnePlus 6T on October 30, we would be overshadowed by Apple.”

With that, the OnePlus 6T’s launch date has been moved to October 29 — still in New York at 11am EDT.

OnePlus says that this decision was made after lots of deliberation between themselves and input from fans. Lau added: “We have only just begun our journey and cannot afford to let one of the most important products in our history be affected by another great product launch.”

For those who bought a ticket but can’t attend the event anymore, they’ll get a full refund. Anyone who has to make changes to their travel and accommodation arrangements will be assisted by OnePlus; added costs will be covered individually.

For everyone else who’ll be watching the live stream from home, it simply means we’ll get to see OnePlus’ next flagship smartphone a day sooner.

The OnePlus 6T is expected to be similar in a lot of ways to the OnePlus 6 launched six months ago, except it’ll come with a smaller notch and in-display fingerprint scanner — at the expense of the audio port, however.

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Sony confirms Android Pie rollout schedule

Updates coming in October to March

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Months after launch, the coveted Android Pie is still the rarest operating system out in the wild. With Android’s notoriety, the new operating system’s incredibly low distribution rates don’t come as a surprise. Currently, only the top smartphones have tasted a piece of Pie. Even then, new adopters are only slowly trickling in.

Surprisingly, Sony has accelerated their upgrade schedules, leaving other brands trailing in the dust. Already, the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact are receiving Android Pie updates. Meanwhile, the new XZ3 comes with the operating system fresh out of the box.

Today, the company has announced further updates to the old schedule. Within the next few weeks, Sony’s older models will receive the new update. Starting October 26, Android Pie will roll out to the XZ Premium, the XZ1, and the XZ1 Compact. Meanwhile, the XZ2 Premium can enjoy the new operating system starting November 7.

Additionally, the XA2, the XA2 Ultra, and the XA2 Plus will get Android Pie on March 4.

Notably, the announced phones are older than Android Pie’s current lineup. This is the most concrete schedule that Android has enjoyed. While other brands have promised future updates, not many have fulfilled their end of the bargain.

That said, expect the same dismal adoption rates in the future. Even now, the preceding Android Oreo still hasn’t taken over a sizable share of the smartphone market. While Sony’s announcement is a step up, can we expect other brands to step up as well?

SEE ALSO: Sony unveils Xperia XZ3 with best-possible specs and features

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