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BlackBerry KEY2 goes official and it’s definitely a phone for keyboard fans

Ain’t it nice to type on an actual keyboard?

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TCL, the current owner of BlackBerry, just announced their latest phone and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know what it is — the BlackBerry KEY2. The early leaks and rumors about the new BlackBerry phone are true; from pricing to specs, they are correct.

Unsurprisingly, they KEY2 continues the KEYone legacy. It still has a squarish form factor (but not as square as the BlackBerry Passport) with a 4.5-inch IPS display (1080 x 1620 pixels, 3:2 ratio) and iconic physical keyboard, which has become a rarity in today’s smartphone market. It also has a first for a BlackBerry — dual rear cameras.

BlackBerry is finally on board the dual camera wagon with two 12-megapixel rear sensors: one with a regular f/1.8 lens and another with a telephoto f/2.6 lens. Obviously, the secondary sensor is used for optical zooming as well as portrait shots and bokeh features. An 8-megapixel shooter takes care of the selfies.

The body of the phone is made from 7000 Series aluminum with a textured rubber back. Overall, the phone looks sleeker and more refined than the KEYone. Perhaps the removal of the metal forehead gives the KEY2 much-needed elegance as a modern business phone.

Going back to the keyboard, it’s now 20 percent taller for more comfortable and accurate typing. It also has a matte finish and more spacious layout. The spacebar still doubles as a fingerprint reader and the whole keyboard acts as a trackpad which has always been neat. In addition, there’s a new Speed key that enables shortcut commands to open apps, contact info, or access certain functions. Just imagine how productive you can be without even touching the screen.

Inside the phone is a Snapdragon 660 processor with a generous 6GB of memory and up to 128GB of expandable storage. Software-wise, the KEY2 boots Android Oreo out of the box with a promised update to Android P. Of course, monthly security updates are also expected.

The BlackBerry KEY2 will go on sale this June starting at US$ 649 in the US, GBP 579 in the UK, and EUR 649 for the rest of Europe.

SEE ALSO: From Curve, Bold to Priv: 10 of the most memorable BlackBerry devices

News

Singapore will make Coronavirus tracking app technology freely available

One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind – Neil Armstrong

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Singapore will soon open-source (open up) a smartphone technology that helps track citizens’ encounters with Coronavirus carriers. Called TraceTogether, it’s developed by the government to prevent community-spread of the fatal virus that has killed thousands worldwide.

The government is urging citizens to run so that if they encounter a Coronavirus carrier, it’s easier to trace who else may have been exposed to the virus. Why run? Because that plunges your chances of contracting the virus since the encounter will barely be a second. Not to forget, it’s an excellent way to exercise. This way, health authorities are in a better position to detect, treat, and quarantine affected patients.

To reserve a user’s privacy, Singapore’s app is opt-in and doesn’t track users through space, instead, it records who you have encountered. If you come across someone who was exposed, the app will exchange four essential bits of information — a timestamp, Bluetooth signal strength, the phone’s model, and a temporary identifier or device nickname.

On the other end, If a user has diagnosed positive, they enable the health authorities to access their app data to identify people who had close contact with the infected individual.

Addressing privacy concerns, the government has assured that the user’s data is never accessed and all their personal details remain safe. If you’re still paranoid, you can simply check the app settings to confirm whether the app has access to your files, contacts, and other essential hardware.

Now, Singapore is ready to share their app and its back-end technology with the whole world.

From Israel to South Korea to China, governments around the world are using technology to track the Coronavirus outbreak as they race to stem its spread. In China, government-installed CCTV cameras pointed towards the apartment door of those under a 14-day quarantine to ensure they don’t leave.

Germany hopes to launch a similar smartphone app within weeks to help trace Coronavirus infections. Even they’ve shown interest in replicating the Singaporean model. And now that the technology is freely available, it’ll be easier for countries to adopt and adapt than to start from zero.

The Indian government has also launched an app called Corona Kavach (literally meaning Corona Shield) to track individuals by their smartphone locations and curb the community spread of Coronavirus. It’s built on the same concept that Singapore’s government has worked on. But, it’s still in beta. With a population of 1.3 billion and one of the worst healthcare systems, the country is highly vulnerable to the virus. Again, the government promises data privacy.

SEE ALSO: How to disinfect your tech from the coronavirus | Coronavirus porn is trending on Pornhub | Here’s how Facebook is trying to fight coronavirus


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

Coronavirus: Where to donate

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OnePlus is also launching a midrange version of OnePlus 8

Called the OnePlus Z

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Image source: @OnLeaks / Twitter

Because of the recent leaks, all eyes are on the OnePlus 8 and the OnePlus 8 Pro. Given what we already know or suspect, the dynamic duo looks like a force to be reckoned with in the smartphone world. However, for all the hype the duo has enjoyed, OnePlus is also readying another device under our noses.

According to multiple sources, the company will launch a third device in the series shortly after the first launch event. As you might expect, the mysterious device will round out the series, opening a midrange option for non-power users.

Previously, we saw leaked renders depicting this midrange smartphone, carrying the OnePlus 8 Lite moniker. However, according to the latest sources, the Lite version will come under a special name outside of the OnePlus 8 series. Instead of the OnePlus 8 Lite, OnePlus is calling it the OnePlus Z.

Unfortunately, we don’t know much else about the upcoming midranger. If anything, its midrange status likely points to a chipset below the reported Snapdragon 865 of the original series. Besides that, it’s anyone’s guess.

In any case, the OnePlus 8 and the OnePlus 8 Pro will officially launch on April 14. Previously, the series was thought to launch on April 10. However, an official trailer confirms the actual release date.

SEE ALSO: New OnePlus 8 leak reveals purple-orange gradient

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Zoom, Skype now used for virtual drinking parties

Yep, it’s a thing now

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The ongoing spread of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted to lots of people staying at home. To pass time, some are resorting to binge-watching Netflix episodes or reading free e-books. However, some people are doing something different: virtual drinking parties.

Since most people in the world are using video conferencing apps nowadays, some have thought of a fun way to pass time while on self-quarantine. In some parts of the world, people are using WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom, and HouseParty to hold virtual drinking parties. As a matter of fact, some hangout spots are hosting their own virtual beer-drinking sessions.

Some people are even holding virtual drinking sessions for coffee. An ecology and biology professor have resorted to using Microsoft Teams to catch up with her colleagues over a cup of coffee.

To beat the boredom brought about by having to stay indoors, people are holding virtual parties that enable them to connect with one another. Virtual drinking parties just takes it to another level.

SEE ALSO:
Quarantined man asks neighbor on a date through a drone, posts video on TikTok
WhatsApp usage rises significantly due to Coronavirus

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