News

Google updates Wear OS with more features

Coming in September!

Published

on

A few years ago, smartwatches dominated the hip scene. The market itself was a burgeoning community highlighted by Pebble, Samsung Gear, and Apple Watch. Now, the industry has stagnated into a paltry selection of a few good options and a multitude of copycats.

Following this tempestuous trend, Google is pushing for a new renaissance for the wearable technology. Right on the cusp of new hardware, the Silicon Valley giant is starting things off with the industry’s most neglected aspect — software.


For years, smartwatch makers have neglected to do anything revolutionary with their devices’ insides. Until now, these devices have limited themselves to only a handful of functions — tracking your health and checking your notifications. For a “revolutionary” technology, that’s not saying much.

Unfortunately, we’re not closer to getting industry-defining innovations just yet. However, if anything, Google’s latest updates are making our wearables more streamlined and convenient.

For one, Google is emphasizing the “smart” in smartwatch. Instead of a simple notification display, Google’s Wear OS now infuses Google Assistant with the watch’s software.

With simple swipes, users can access and attend to all their notifications. As is now standard with messaging on Android, users can reply to messages with automated smart replies, instead of texting on their phone.

Additionally, watches can now display Google Assistant’s automated reminders. From Google’s website, Wear OS notifies you on the weather, traffic jams, flight delays, and promos in nearby establishments.

Finally, Google has revamped smart fitness by adding two new metrics to measure your health — Heart Points and Move Minutes. Supported by the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization, the new metrics measure both low- and high-intensity movement including walking, biking, and hiking. With the new feature, Google wants to keep you on the move.

As of now, Google plans to roll the new updates throughout September. If you don’t have a Wear OS smartwatch yet, Google is also planning to launch its own Pixel Watch very soon.

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

Enterprise

Apple is buying Intel’s 5G modem business

For a billion dollars

Published

on

When are Apple’s iPhones getting 5G modems? For such a simple question, Apple has notoriously barreled through controversial hoops just for a conclusive deal. Notably, Qualcomm, a known modem supplier, kept barring the company from fulfilling its 5G dreams. The two companies buried the hatchet only a few months ago. The newfound peace treaty awakened a new multiyear deal, supposedly bringing Qualcomm’s 5G chips to the iPhone.

Despite the good news, the deal still carries a modicum of controversy and uncertainty. For one, Qualcomm is still a volatile business partner. The chipmaker infamously goes for quirky tactics to gain an upper hand. Just this week, the European Commission brought the hammer down against Qualcomm’s unfair pricing schemes.


Secondly, because of the deal, Qualcomm’s competitors suffered a huge blow in the 5G race. For example, Intel surrendered its efforts after the new deal’s inking. Before the deal, Apple was a steadfast customer of Intel’s chips. Even with uncertainty, Qualcomm is forging a subtle oligopoly in the modem race. (Samsung is still in the race.)

Unsurprisingly, some companies refuse to submit to the impending monopoly. However, Qualcomm’s newest defector comes as a huge surprise: Apple itself. Reported by The Wall Street Journal, Apple is finalizing a deal to acquire Intel’s modem business. For a staggering US$ 1 billion, the iPhone maker will acquire Intel’s slew of patents, resources, and staff. The deal will reportedly close as early as next week.

Naturally, Apple’s purchase will allow an eventual independence from its third-party suppliers. In the future, Apple might make its own 5G chips in-house rather than relying on Qualcomm. Right now, a 5G-capable iPhone is still in the works. Apple is eyeing a potential 2020 release date.

SEE ALSO: Apple might bring back the old-school rainbow logo this year

Continue Reading

Gaming

ASUS ROG Phone in China comes in many variants

So many options!

Published

on

ASUS made quite a splash after releasing the update to their gaming phone — the ROG Phone 2. While the rest of the world waits for pricing details, China is getting it ahead of everyone else.

In case you missed the initial reveal, the ASUS ROG Phone 2 retains most of the design of its predecessor. Why fix what’s not broken, right? The improvements, though, are easily noticeable.


You’re getting the world’s first 120Hz AMOLED display on a smartphone. It’s also the first phone to take advantage of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus processor.

The accessories have also been improved. Specifically, there’s the Kunai gamepad that makes the ROG Phone 2 look like a Nintendo Switch. You can also attach the controllers to the Kunai Holder and use them as you would a gamepad.

For more details on what is shaping up to be the ultimate mobile gaming device, make sure to watch our Hands-On video.

Pricing and availability in China

The ROG Phone 2 will come in different variants.

It starts with the Tencent Depth Customisation which has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage that will retail for CNY 3,499 (US$ 509). The next variant is called Enjoy Peace in Beijing which has the same configuration but is priced at CNY 3,699 (US$ 538). The 12GB RAM and 128GB Storage for the same variants are priced CNY 5,999 (US$ 872) and CNY 6,199 (US$ 901) respectively. These are now available for pre-orders.

In a Weibo post, ASUS revealed that there are two more variants: A Zhizun version priced at CNY 7,999 (US$ 1173) and an Esports Armour version priced at CNY 12,999 (US$ 1890). Configurations weren’t revealed but some are speculating these will have 12GB RAM and 512GB of storage.

 

Continue Reading

News

Samsung’s next-generation RAM is super fast

It’s tailor-made to handle 5G and AI

Published

on

Slowly but surely we’re approaching the 5G era. As more infrastructure is built to provide this next-gen mobile connectivity, we’ll also need a new batch of smartphones that can handle it without sucking up all your phone’s juice. This is where Samsung comes in with their new 12GB LPDDR5 mobile DRAM.

The new DRAM is optimized for enabling 5G and AI features in future smartphones. Not only that, Samsung said it’s also power efficient which means it will allow phones to fully leverage 5G as well as AI driven features like ultra-high-definition video recording and machine learning while also extending the phones battery life.


The 12GB LPDDR5 should be around 1.3 times faster than the previous mobile memory found in most high-end phones today. This means it should be able to transfer 44GB of data in only a second.

Not coming until the S11

Don’t expect to see this on the Galaxy Note 10 though. Instead, look for it to be equipped on the Samsung Galaxy S11. With the rise of more 5G infrastructure, 5G-capable flagships will be the norm in 2020.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 ‘official’ photos leak

Continue Reading

Trending