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Google acquires part of HTC’s smartphone business

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It has finally happened: Google bought a chunk of HTC’s smartphone team to bolster their hardware efforts. 

In a blog entry posted by Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President of Hardware at Google, the search giant signed an agreement with the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer to acquire “a team of HTC talent.” Osterloh said that these people were already part of the Pixel production.

In addition, Google has also bought a “non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property.” If this rings any bells, that’s because Google had a similar game plan when they bought out Motorola for their patents back in 2011.

According to The Verge, this deal is worth US$ 1.1 billion, which is a fraction of what Google spent on the US$ 12.5 billion Motorola acquisition.

Since this isn’t a full takeover, HTC’s core smartphone business and Vive sub-brand will still live on. The question remains how much genuine manpower HTC will lose in this process, and if their future products will be as competitive as they’ve tried to be this year.

As for Google, this should be seen as a smart move, considering how invested they’ve become with their own hardware since last year when the HTC-made (under Google’s direction) Pixel smartphones were launched. By having a familiar team on board, the search and advertising specialist could finally be taken more seriously for their self-branded products.

Interestingly, this is being announced just two weeks before Google’s big event on October 4, where they’re expected to launch the Pixel 2 and possibly more hardware. At the same time, we wonder how Android-reliant brands like Samsung and LG will react, now that the operating system’s owner is a more direct rival to their smartphone divisions.

SEE ALSO: 5 keys to making the Google Pixel 2 a success

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LinkedIn launches its digital skills initiative

14 learning paths to choose from

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In this day and age, learning a new skill is important as the economy adjusts to a new normal. The Internet makes learning a new skill easy, with learners simply having to search Google to get started. However, it can be hard to gather the proper resources needed to effectively and efficiently learn a new skill.

To that end, LinkedIn has launched a new global skill initiative. It aims to easily and effortlessly bring digital skills to 25 million people by the end of 2020. To mark the initiative, the company has already launched 10 new learning paths for free.

LinkedIn based these paths on jobs that are in-demand for the economy of today and the future. These jobs also have the greatest number of job openings on LinkedIn, have the highest growth over the years, and pays a livable wage. Plus, most of these jobs rely on skills that can be learned online.

The 10 learning paths from these jobs are as follow:

The company is also launching four learning paths designed for professionals looking to expand on their soft skills. These paths include:

Other job-seeking features

In addition to these new learning paths, LinkedIn will also introduce three new features to help job seekers in these difficult times. The first feature is #OpentoWork, where job seekers can indicate that they are open to a new job through specific photo frames on their profile picture.

There’s also the second feature called offer help. LinkedIn members can indicate in a post that they’re willing to help other members in their network. Members can offer help ranging from connecting other people, reviewing resumes, or providing general job-seeking guidance.

Finally, LinkedIn is launching an interview prep. Through this feature, the company is offering its interview preparation tools including an AI-powered feedback feature for free.

Job seekers and employers can also gain access to some labor market insights from LinkedIn’s economic graph. These insights will help them find new jobs, other employers hiring for a position, and on-demand skills from over 180 regions across the world. It can be accessed through this link.

The current times call for an emphasis on cultivating skills that will be useful under the new normal. LinkedIn’s learning paths are a great way to start on a journey to learning a new skill. There are more learning paths and features that the company is offering which can be accessed by visiting this website.

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Indian telco launches a Zoom rip-off and it’s free

Definitely worth giving it a shot!

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Jio, India’s leading telecom operator has recently been in the news for a lot of reasons. The company has more than 30 percent of the telecom market in India and it intends to pivot, unlike any other telco we’ve ever seen.

The company has launched a Zoom alternative called JioMeet. The video conferencing app is expected to get a lot of traction amid calls to increase self-dependence and reduce the consumption of foreign products. However, it seems like the Jio team took too much inspiration from Zoom and thought of just directly mimicking it.

The app looks almost identical to Zoom’s offering, except for the minor color change here and there. The app is one of many in Jio’s portfolio.

However, the app offers a lot of high-end features like unlimited free calls in HD and supports for 100 participants in one go. Additionally, JioMeet does not impose a short time limit on a call’s duration.

On Zoom, you’d require a premium account to disable the 40-minute restriction on calls. Thankfully, the app is available on the Play Store and App Store for download directly, and no coupons or invite links are needed.

For security and privacy reasons, all its meetings are password protected. The host has the control to send the uninvited guests to the “Waiting Room” to ensure no gatecrashing. Obviously, standard features like screen sharing have also been included.

For desktop usage, the service can also be accessed through Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers. On its official website, JioMeet claims all the meetings are “encrypted”.

In the last two months, the telecom operator has raised billion in funding from global investors like Facebook. The company also owns JioSaavn music streaming service and has its own entertainment unit that offers movies, shows, as well as live TV.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite arrives in the Philippines

New tablet option!

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

If you’re looking for a tablet that comes with a pen, then you might want to turn your attention to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite.

The tablet has a 10.4” WUXGA+ display with dual speakers by Dolby Atmos and sound by AKG. This allows for an immersive viewing and listening experience in one compact companion.

Inside it’s powered by the Exynos 911 with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage that’s expandable up to 1TB via a microSD card. It also has 7040mAh of battery. It’s running Android 10, naturally with One UI 2.0 on top as well as everything else you can expect from a Samsung mobile device.

It has a nifty Samsung Kids feature for access to age-appropriate and family-friendly materials. So, if you’re a parent, you can rest easy should you choose to let your child handle the tablet.

Pricing and availability

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is now available for purchase. It comes in Oxford Gray and Angora Blue and retails for PhP 26,990 (US$ 545). It comes with a Free Book Cover and the aforementioned S-Pen both in the box. You also get free 4 months of YouTube Premium.

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