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Google might launch a Pixel Watch in October

We call it the Pixel XS

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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

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Galaxy S22 Ultra will look like a Galaxy Note phone

Based on a new render

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The Galaxy Note series is in a state of limbo. After the rise of the brand’s foldable phones, Samsung toned down on the iconic Note series. The brand hasn’t even launched a new entry yet – if it even is launching one this year. If you’re a fan of the series, there’s still hope. Based on new renders, the upcoming Galaxy S22 Ultra will look remarkably similar to the Galaxy Note series.

Rendered by Steve Hemmerstoffer and Digit.in based on currently known leaks, the upcoming premium smartphone will reportedly have a built-in dock for the S Pen. Of course, the series had already received stylus support, but the Galaxy S21 series never had a dock for the pen.

Additionally, the renders show a quad rear camera setup much like the previous series. However, the layout does look a bit different from its predecessors. Either way, the upcoming flagship has a hint of familiarity for those more used to the Galaxy Note series.

Unfortunately, the render doesn’t show how the S Pen will look like. For the past few iterations, Samsung did confirm that more optimized S Pens are coming for different devices.

In other details, the renders also show that the headphone jack is here to stay.

Right now, it’s still early to tell if the renders are what the real deal will look like. A lot can still happen between now and the projected launch window in January.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 review: Do-It-All device

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US drops charges against Huawei heir Meng Wanzhou

Allowed to return to China

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Huawei MateBook D 15

Is the Huawei saga finally reaching its conclusion? For years, the American government has hounded the Chinese company for its ties to its respective country’s government. The administration then issued several bans, forcing Huawei to either find alternatives or give up its business. To the company’s dismay, Huawei has already suffered intensive damage. Now, amid their victory, the United States is throwing the company a bone by dropping its charges against Huawei heir Meng Wanzhou.

Back in 2018, Canadian authorities arrested the daughter of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei. Meng, who is also Huawei’s chief finance officer, was indicted with charges related to an illegal trade deal in Iran. Since then, the company’s heir found herself stuck in a limbo between house arrest and potential extradition to the United States.

Her chapter in the ongoing Huawei struggle is apparently over. In the United States, Meng pleaded not guilty to the government’s charges and agreed to take responsibility for her role in the deal. For their part, the government has dropped the charges in an apparent agreement with the CFO. Meng was allowed to return home to China.

Though Meng Wanzhou is off the leash, Huawei still has an uphill battle because of the said deal. Further, the company is still fighting against bans from the American government. Huawei has already fallen off the ranks in terms of success in the smartphone realm.

SEE ALSO: Huawei wants to help scale-up startups in Asia Pacific

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Xiaomi blacklists “Samsung” and other terms from its phones

But there’s a reason why

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Throughout the past few years, Chinese smartphones have received a lot of flak for its ties to geopolitical issues. Both Huawei and ZTE have already suffered through bans from the American government. Naturally, Xiaomi is in a similar boat. Unfortunately, because of a new research report, things might get worse before they get better.

According to a report published by the National Cyber Security Centre in Lithuania, Xiaomi’s smartphones automatically download a list of terms that they blacklist. The list includes sketchy terms like “China,” “Taiwan Solidarity Union,” and other geopolitical terms. Obviously, including China-related terms can cause a bit of alarm for users elsewhere. However, the blacklist might have uses outside of the obvious.

Spotted by XDA Developers, Xiaomi uses the list for advertising purposes. Besides the China-related terms, the list also includes its brand rivals like “Samsung” and “ZTE.” It also includes pornography and piracy terms. Most ironically, the list also blocks its own smartphone models. The publication spotted that the blacklist is used solely by the smartphone’s advertising platform. Which does make sense now.

The list is designed to block out ads from competing companies and its own (which makes sense since someone who owns a Xiaomi phone probably doesn’t need to see a Xiaomi ad anymore). Blocking pornographic and piracy-supporting ads also makes sense. The China-related terms remain problematic, but there is no indication that Xiaomi uses the list for anything other than advertising.

Further, Xiaomi should activate the filter manually. The automatic download doesn’t automatically mean that the phone is censored. That said, there is still a possibility that Xiaomi can use the filter for more geopolitical reasons. At the very least, current reports don’t point toward that for now.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi 11T series focuses on mobile filmmaking

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