Google might launch a Pixel Watch in October

We call it the Pixel XS



The battle between Android and Apple has endured with neither getting the definite upper hand. For all their squabbles in the smartphone world, one side has already made a deafening salvo in another realm — the smartwatch. Now, the opposing team is gearing up for their own counterattack.

For years, the Apple Watch has beaten back all newcomers to the smartwatch industry, establishing their position at the top of the food chain. However, a new rumor speculates that Google might launch its own smartwatch soon.

First reported by renowned leaker Evan Blass, the Pixel-branded smartwatch will launch during a Google event this fall.

German website WinFuture has further detailed that the Pixel watches will come in three flavors — Ling, Triton, and Sardine. All three watches share a nautical theme for their code names. Each watch takes its name from a species of fish.

Allegedly, the watches will sport the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100. Underneath, they will also have a quad-core chip (with an unknown clock rate), the old ARM Cortex-A7 architecture, and an Adreno 304 GPU.

If true, the new platform will also carry the separate Qualcomm “Blackghost” chip, which optimizes power consumption when the screen is off and eases interactions between voice commands and Google Assistant.

The existence of three simultaneous Pixel watch launches still hovers in the realm of rumor. However, Blass ascertains the launch of at least one Pixel watch this fall.

Regardless, one Pixel watch should sway the smartwatch discussion closer to Android. Currently, the Apple Watch thoroughly dominates the sector. Further, non-Apple variants come mostly from luxury watch brands, instead of tech companies themselves.

This fall’s Google event will likely see the launch of the Google Pixel 3 and new Pixel Buds as well. Whatever Google launches then will definitely rock the tech world.

SEE ALSO: Wear OS is Google’s new name for Android Wear


There was an older Pixel Fold before, Google admits

Through the company’s podcast



Pixel Fold

Earlier this May, Google finally unveiled the much-awaited Pixel Fold. Though the device just got its official debut this month, details about the device have popped up for more than a year. We now know why. Google has officially revealed that the Pixel Fold has gone through a different iteration before its final version today.

Last year, Google started the Made by Google Podcast. The formerly-weekly-but-now-occasional series reveals behind-the-scenes looks at the new products coming from Google. In yesterday’s episode, host Rachid Finge spoke with Google’s Ivy Ross, Isabelle Olsson, and Claude Zellweger about the brand’s latest devices.

Most importantly, the three experts spoke about the new Pixel Fold. During the interview, Ross admits that the current version of the foldable device isn’t the first to come out of the engineering team. The podcasts reveals that “there was another foldable model that [they] had created [but] had the discipline to say, “nope, it’s not good enough yet.”

Somewhere in the vaults of Google, the brand has an unreleased foldable device that hasn’t passed quality standards. Unfortunately, the podcast doesn’t reveal much more about the prototype. Now, since the released product touts a traditional, book-like fold, it’s possible that the prototype has a clamshell form factor — the other type of foldable device, as is now exemplified by the Galaxy Z Flip series from Samsung.

Whatever the prototype was, it doesn’t matter now. The Pixel Fold is now available in Porcelain and Obsidian. It will start at US$ 1,799.

SEE ALSO: Pixel Fold now official

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NVIDIA develops an AI for NPCs

Talk to NPCs naturally



The expansive world of RPGs has a persistent problem: wooden dialogue. Because games in the genre often take so long to develop, dialogue often gets the hardest cuts in quality. AI, in all its emerging features, plans to ease up production issues by automatic NPC dialogue for developers. Unveiled during Computex 2023, NVIDIA has unveiled its latest engine to ease up this process.

Called the Avatar Cloud Engine, the new technology works much like today’s advanced chatbots but in a gaming context. Players can talk to NPCs naturally as if with a human being. The NPC will generate corresponding dialogue to respond to the user.

NVIDIA demonstrated the new technology through a scene reminiscent of a Cyberpunk 2077 cutscene. Set in a futuristic ramen shop, the main character asks the shop owner, Jin, about the state of the restaurant. Jin responds, “I am worried about the crime around here. It’s gotten bad lately. My ramen shop got caught in the crossfire.” After which, the shop owner directs the player to a local crime boss as the root of the violence.

For an AI-created response, the dialogue does seem impressive. However, one can easily tell that it is artificial. Despite how realistic the voice sounds like, it still seems as if it was spoken by a robot.

Regardless, it’s apparent that we’re headed towards an interesting future. Of course, it will take some time before the new technology makes its way to modern games.

SEE ALSO: MediaTek confirms partnership with NVIDIA

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WhatsApp is testing custom usernames and screen-sharing

Still betas for now



WhatsApp is slowly growing beyond a simple person-to-person communication app. For months, the popular app developed features which saw the introduction of Communities and file sharing, among others. Now, the company is working on two new features to pit it against other players in the communications space: custom usernames and screen sharing.

Spotted by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp has released beta versions with the above features. First of all, in the new version, users will be able to select custom usernames to create accounts, rather than with a phone number. The anonymity of custom usernames is already a popular feature among communication platforms today. It allows users to hide their identity in situations where it’s more expedient to do so. Despite going without a phone number, accounts tied to custom usernames will still be end-to-end encrypted.

Secondly, WhatsApp will soon allow users to share their screens in a call. Now, screen sharing is already an important feature in today’s communication apps. Popular platforms like Zoom and Discord already offer as much.

Since the features are still in beta, it’s unclear when they will arrive in a more finalized version for the public. It’s also unclear if it will even release to the public.

SEE ALSO: WhatsApp adds an edit button

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