Smartphones

Google is issuing major redesign for Google Search

Bubblier and bouncier

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Redesigns are part and parcel for the tech world. Perhaps separated by several years, the biggest tech companies often issue major redesigns to their products, marking significant changes to the times. Now, we’re on the cusp of a major redesign for Google Search. Here’s how Google is changing its popular search engine this time around.

According to an official blog post filled with statements from Google designer Aileen Cheng, the search engine is simplifying its design even further. Most importantly, the redesign will take advantage of the recent edge-to-edge screens. Currently, entries are just presented as tiles. With the redesign, the tiles will be stretched to the edges of the screen. In doing so, Google aims to present the information more concisely, rather than focusing on the design.

Additionally, Google is adjusting the feature’s font, increasing size and changing color to be more focused on information. On an aesthetic level, Google is also making things “bubblier and bouncier,” mimicking the same energy of the Google logo.

Though the redesign can do a lot on PC, the redesign is focusing on mobile for now. That said, no one knows when the redesign is coming. At the time of this writing, the search function is still in its current iteration without the redesigns.

SEE ALSO: You can take a selfie with Baby Yoda on Google Search

India

realme shows off the realme 8’s 108MP camera

It has a lot of “firsts”

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The race for megapixels is on and realme in no mood of missing out. The phone maker has showed-off its 108-megapixel camera setup, which will be found on the upcoming realme 8 Pro.

The massive sensor not only produces a sharper image, but also brings the world’s first tilt-shift time-lapse video, starry time-lapse video, and new portrait filters. realme is confident the camera will be able to outmatch the competition. Currently, Xiaomi’s Mi 10i and Mi 10T series have a 108-megapixel camera, but the two sensors are different.

realme has opted for Samsung’s HM2 sensor for the primary camera and it features a larger sensor with a size of 1/1.52″. The larger pixel size ensures better image quality and it supports 9-in-1 pixel binning technology. The brand has shown off a few images that were clicked with the sensor.

For zooming, it supports 3x in-sensor zoom, which processes a 12-megapixel image in the end. Essentially, the sensor will compress the image but retain details that are necessary for the picture. In turn, the algorithm improves accuracy, colors, as well as contrast.

A Starry Mode is also showed-off and it can shoot a video timelapse, using a time-lapse video algorithm based on starry photos. The camera clicks 30 pictures in 480 seconds and compiles that into a one-second video.

There’s also a tilt-shift mode that’ll let you adjust the shape, angle, position, and size of the bokeh effect. Along with this, there are three portrait filters — Neon Portrait, Dynamic Bokeh Portrait, and AI Color Portrait.

The company hasn’t announced the launch date of the realme 8 series. But we know it’ll be coming first to India in March 2021. Finally, realme has reiterated that its “realme number series” naming format for smartphones shall continue focusing on camera-centric innovations.

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India

Redmi K40 could make a global debut as the POCO F3

Wasn’t POCO supposed to be an “independent” brand?

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File Photo: POCO F2 Pro

Xiaomi and realme have often rebranded their phones depending on the market. Now, there’s a high possibility that Xiaomi could launch the Redmi K40, which was recently unveiled in China, as the POCO F3 in India.

As spotted by Stufflistings, the Redmi K40 (model number M2012K11AG) has been certified by the FCC ahead of its global launch as a POCO branded phone. The Redmi K40 series also includes the K40 Pro and K40 Pro+, but their global launch details are yet to be ascertained.

Stufflistings also shared that the same phone has been IMEI validated in India already in a follow-up tweet. Notably, there’s no mention of 5G support here. We shall wait for further details before jumping to conclusions.

The rebranding isn’t surprising because the POCO F2 was actually a rebranded Redmi K30 Pro. And, the POCO X2 was a Redmi K30 in select markets. While POCO and Redmi are now independent brands, it’s clear that they’re fully leveraging Xiaomi’s supply chain.

On the specs side, the phone is expected to have a Snapdragon 870 processor, a 48-megapixel primary camera, and a 4,420mAh battery with 33W fast charging. On the front will be a 6.7-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate.

Early this year, POCO India’s Country Director, Anuj Sharma, confirmed that the brand is considering launching an F-series phone focused on performance and can sport a flagship-grade processor. While the Snapdragon 888 becomes a costly venture for an affordable phone, the Snapdragon 870 provides an ideal middle ground.

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News

Apple’s iPhone 13 series won’t get a USB-C port

Lightning connector is still the king

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Apple’s iPhones have shipped with a Lightning port for the longest time, and the trend won’t be changing anytime soon. While USB-C continues to rule the industry today, Apple shall stick with the conventional port for an indefinite period of time.

The latest research note by TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will not ditch the Lightning connector in favor of a USB Type-C standard on iPhones anytime soon. And the decision to do so apparently has a lot to do with two key reasons — profits and longevity.

“We believe that USB-C is detrimental to the MFi business’s profitability, and its waterproof specification is lower than Lightning and MagSafe,” he said in the note, as quoted by AppleInsider. MFi stands for Apple’s Made for iPhone (MFi) program, allowing Apple to license the proprietary technology to other brands for making compatible accessories.

Kuo also predicts that the Pro iPhone model might lose the notch, favoring a hole-punch camera that’s popular on Android phones. However, he also adds that a shift to Touch ID is unlikely.

The note also says that we can expect an iPhone SE option with 5G compatibility. This is actually a no-brainer since every phone maker is gearing up for the boom, and the developing markets are yet to deploy full-scale 5G, giving some time to Apple.

Lastly, he speculates that the iPhone 13 Pro successor will be Apple’s main iPhone release to abandon the notch and “adopt” the hole-punch display design. Android phone makers have taken a similar approach, and it has worked well so far for everyone.

Users have long asked for a USB-C port on the iPhone because it eliminates the need to carry a Lightning cable wherever you go. Thanks to standardization, a USB-C wire is capable of charging a MacBook, Android phone, third-party accessories, as well as power banks. Having one universal port helps massively in enabling easy portability. In fact, even the iPad Pro has a USB-C port available now.

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