HTC 10 announced: Android flagship for iPhone owners



After months of leaks and rumors, HTC has unveiled its flagship smartphone for 2016, the simply named HTC 10. It has a lot riding on its shoulders — or, should we say, metal body? — given HTC’s consistently poor sales amid increasing competition from Apple, Samsung, and Chinese brands.

Note that the troubled Taiwanese-based manufacturer has dropped the One branding and M designation altogether, as well as many HTC-branded bloatware like HTC Audio and the standalone Zoe app (though Zoe is built in to the stock camera software), in an attempt to create a more focused device. One that, at first glance, seems to be aimed squarely at iPhone users who are considering making the switch to Android.

And if its gorgeous aluminum finish, unibody construction, and stripped-down interface aren’t appealing enough to sustain the interest of Apple fans, consider that the HTC 10 is the first non-Apple phone to support AirPlay, meaning it can be used to stream content to the Apple TV and other iOS devices.

HTC 10 official

The simply named HTC 10

Over to the camera department, the HTC 10 is equipped with a 12-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization and f/1.8 aperture lens for capturing more light and producing brighter and clearer photos in dim lighting. The 5-megapixel front-facer has the same aperture as the rear cam and is likewise optically stabilized — a first for any phone maker, according to HTC.

When it comes to under-the-hood specifications, the HTC 10 matches the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5 spec-for-spec, fitting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB of RAM. The 32GB of onboard storage should prove to be satisfactory for most users, though a microSD card slot that houses up to 1TB cards (that don’t exist yet) is there for those who need more memory.

Display purists will be delighted to note that the HTC 10 has one of the most pixel-dense screens around, sporting a 5.2-inch Quad HD display topped off with curved-edge glass. And while we’re not in a position to comment on picture quality, our positive experiences with recent HTC flagships going back to the HTC One M7 inspire much confidence.

However, we can’t say the same for the non-user-replaceable 3,000mAh cell, which the phone maker claims is big enough to power the device through two days of usage. Regardless, you’ll be able to charge it quickly through a USB Type-C connector that supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 rapid-charging technology.

The HTC 10 is now available for preorder in the U.S. for $700 (P32,500) and will ship in four colors: gray, silver, gold, and red. Shipping will begin around May.

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Instagram is building an AI chatbot

Follows TikTok in doing so



Do you need an AI chatbot to hold a conversation? Instagram seems to think so. As the world rapidly experiments with developments in AI technology, the platform is reportedly working on a chatbot for its users.

According to Alessandro Paluzzi, a reverse engineer who usually digs up future plans for popular apps, Instagram is working on the AI chatbot feature for a future iteration of the app. Much like other chatbots out in the market today, Instagram’s unnamed bot will enable users to interact with it in casually flowing conversation.

The screenshots obtained by the engineer read that it “answers questions, gives advice.” Additionally, it helps users “find the best way to express [themselves] … [through] writing messages.” From a usability standpoint, the feature can help users craft replies to direct messages. They can also bring the bot into human-to-human conversations by mentioning the bot in the conversation.

To add to the quirkiness, Instagram will supposedly add 30 different personalities to the chatbot. Users can pick and choose which one they like the best. The sneak peek does not reveal any personalities included in the feature. (We’re hoping for a snarky one that judges and critiques posts.)

The feature has no timetable as to its release. However, since TikTok already released its own chatbot for testing, it should stand that Instagram’s feature will come out soon.

SEE ALSO: Instagram is creating a Twitter competitor

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ROG Ally greatly improves with new update

Days before official launch



The ROG Ally has some hefty shoes to fill. Touting an impressive slate of specs, the upcoming handheld console is one of the first true competitors to the dominating Steam Deck. Unfortunately, early reviews revealed a flawed comparison against Valve’s juggernaut of a console. Now, days ahead of its official launch, ASUS is releasing new firmware which drastically improves the console’s performance.

Getting down to the nitty gritty of things, the ROG Ally, in its unpatched version, lacked performance in low-wattage scenarios. Early reviewers found that the console could not keep up with the Steam Deck under such circumstances.

A new update, which started rolling out to early units, started catching up. According to YouTuber Dave2D, the update easily improves the console by 15 to 20 percent better than its initial release. First of all, it brings the ROG Ally almost at par with the Steam Deck in low-wattage scenarios. While the results aren’t as good as the latter device yet, it’s a much better performer compared to the former on day one. ASUS acknowledges that Valve really did its homework in low-wattage scenarios.

More notably, the update dramatically boosts the ROG Ally’s performance in higher wattages. The console is now close behind the Ayaneo 2S, a beefier alternative to the Steam Deck. Before the update, the ROG Ally could barely touch the Steam Deck, let alone the Ayaneo 2S.

ASUS also notes that the update should include improvements for the battery life. The lackluster battery has been a point of contention among all early users.

The ROG Ally is officially launching on June 13 and will start at US$ 699.99.

SEE ALSO: How well do PlayStation games run on the ROG Ally?

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Xiaomi reportedly working on a clamshell phone

Says a new rumor



In recent years, Motorola and Samsung have proved that the clamshell phone is more than just a resurrected fad. Both companies have developed solid lineups capable of becoming daily drivers. Now, others want to get into the market. Following the footsteps of its contemporaries, Xiaomi is reportedly developing a clamshell phone of its own.

Even before the unannounced clamshell phone, Xiaomi has some experience in the foldable market. The Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 was quite the impressive powerhouse when it launched last year. The foldable smartphone even bagged the title as the thinnest foldable at the time (before Huawei grabbed the title soon after).

Now, the Chinese company is seemingly tapping into the same lineup for a rumored clamshell phone. According to Weibo leaker Digital Chat Station, the brand is indeed looking at an extremely light version of the vertically folding form factor.

Unfortunately, not much else is known about the upcoming device yet. However, Xiaomi’s supposed entry into the market shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, the brand’s competitors — Huawei and vivo — are already deep inside the clamshell segment. The latter, for example, just released the vivo X Flip, its first device in the vertically folding market. Expect things to heat up in the Chinese foldable market soon.

SEE ALSO: The vivo X Flip is the company’s first vertical-folding smartphone

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