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Huawei to launch gaming-focused phone this year, foldable phone by 2019

Keeping up with the latest smartphone trends

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When it comes to smartphone strategy, Huawei’s priorities are AI and photography. But Huawei Consumer Business President Jim Xu confirms in an interview in Shenzhen, China that they’re working on a smartphone focused on gaming to be released by the second half of 2018.

It’s not clear whether it will rival ASUS’ ROG Phone or the Razer Phone, but Huawei’s gaming phone will take advantage of their new GPU Turbo technology.

GPU Turbo launched with the Honor Play and Honor 9i, and is slowly making its way to more smartphones that have already been released. The Huawei Mate 10 and Honor V10 have it in June, while the P20 series, Honor 10, and more are getting it starting July. Even older phones like the P10 and Mate 9 series are on the list.

Of course, that won’t be all Huawei’s gaming smartphone will offer. In order to compete with its rivals, powerful hardware and useful accessories need to be part of the package. Huawei could use this chance to introduce a chipset that’s faster than the Kirin 970 currently being utilized by the P20 series.

Xu also says a smartphone with moving mechanical parts similar to the Vivo NEX and OPPO Find X is out of the question. Instead, a foldable phone is to be expected by 2019.

This could be a preemptive answer to Samsung’s expected foldable phone, which has been in the rumor mill for ages. When Samsung’s model will launch is still up in the air, but Huawei seems bent on one-upping its strongest Android rival.

We’ll learn more as 2018 plays out.

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Digital telco GOMO comes to the Philippines

Offers mobile data with no expiry

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Going digital is the new normal. Digital telco GOMO comes to the Philippines, offering large mobile data allocations with no expiry.

Running under Globe Telecom, GOMO offers 5G and LTE enabled sim cards with non-expiring mobile data. It can be purchased through GOMO’s website, GOMO’s PH app, or via official Lazada and Shopee stores.

Additionally, your mobile data can be used as Mo Creds through GOMO’s app. You can convert your existing data so you can subscribe to other prepaid promos like call and text, for as low as 0.2GB. In essence, your mobile data can be your form of currency.

Prepaid subscribers can buy mobile data promos through GOMO’s app, offering 25GB of mobile data for PhP 299 and more.

GOMO’s app is currently available on the Google Play Store. It’s expected to come to The App Store and Huawei’s AppGallery. Currently, GOMO offers a free sim card with 25GB of non-expiring mobile data at PhP 199, and delivers it for free nationwide.

 

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Facebook is launching messaging between Messenger and Instagram

Rolling out to a few countries first

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Last year, Facebook announced an expansive plan to merge its messaging apps on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The initiative will hopefully create a cohesive ecosystem across their related platforms. In August, the company finally started to take comprehensive steps towards that goal, inviting select users to the future program. Now, the secret’s out. Facebook is launching messaging between Messenger and Instagram.

Officially announced today, Facebook is rolling out a Messenger-centric update to Instagram’s Direct Messaging feature. Obviously, the biggest addition is cross-platform messaging between the two platforms. Instagram users can now message Messenger users directly through the app. Even more, the cross-functionality comes with video call compatibility.

Besides this function, Facebook is also introducing new features to Instagram Messaging. It now has its own Selfie Stickers, customizable chat colors, personalized emoji reactions, and animated message effects. Further,

Instagram and Messengers users can now watch content together. This includes “Facebook Watch, IGTV, Reels, TV shows, movies,” and video calls.

Right now, Facebook is releasing the update for select users in a few countries. The company plans to expand globally soon. However, if users want to, they can opt out of the update entirely. Of course, as Facebook is wont to do, the platform will likely force users int the new update sooner or later.

With Instagram’s integration into Facebook Messenger, Facebook still has WhatsApp left to integrate into its ecosystem.

SEE ALSO: Messenger Rooms is Facebook’s group video chat app

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Google’s Hold for Me feature will kill annoying delivery jingles

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If you were like us during this tempestuous lockdown season, you love (and still love) getting stuff delivered, whether it’s food or something new for the house. Unfortunately, despite our love for new things, one thing we still hate is an unending delivery hotline call. Yes, we mean those annoying-but-needlessly-catchy marketing jingles. (In fact, Sarah Geronimo’s Jollibee jingle is still ringing in my ears as I write this.)

Finally, Google has a solution for this work-from-home nightmare. Announced earlier today, the company is introducing a new functionality for calls on hold. The new Hold for Me feature will place Google Assistant in line for you whenever a hotline places you on hold. You don’t need to listen through 40 loops of hold music anymore.

Using Google’s Duplex AI, the Hold for Me feature will alert you — through a sound, a vibration, or a notification — when the call is ready for you. According to Google, Duplex technology can accurately detect if the hotline finally responds with either a recorded message or a human representative. Despite the need for AI processing, Google assures users that the company isn’t storing call data. All call data will remain inside the phone.

The feature is launching inside Google’s Phone app. Users can toggle the feature on or off through the Settings and activate it manually during calls.

For now, Google is launching the feature through an early preview in the new Pixel 5 and Pixel 4A 5G. Both smartphones will launch sometime in October and November.

SEE ALSO: Google is officially launching Android 11 today

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