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Huawei officially announces Harmony OS

Android should be worried

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A few months ago, the Trade War took an ugly turn and its effects were seen on consumer technology for the first time. As a security measure, the U.S. barred Huawei from doing any business with American companies. In a nutshell, Huawei could no longer depend on Android and use Play Services for its smartphones.

This was the tipping point for the Chinese giant and it vowed to not succumb to external pressure. Immediately, there were reports that Huawei has ramped up work on its own operating system, dubbed Hongmeng OS back then. And even though the U.S. scaled back sanctions after a few weeks, it was clear to Huawei, it needs a backup plan.

On August 9, Huawei has finally shown off its new operating system, officially called Harmony OS. Keep in mind, the development has been in process for years, but it got an accelerated push due to the ban.

At the Huawei Developer Conference, the company said Harmony OS is built on a microkernel, meaning it can be deployed on a wide range of devices. This is similar to Google’s Fuchsia OS, but it leverages in-house “Ark” compiler to process multiple languages like C/C++, Java, and Kotlin. Additionally, HTML5, Linux, and even Android apps will be able to run on the OS in the coming future.

Huawei will be releasing a Software Development Kit (SDK) soon for developers to make apps across multiple devices like televisions, smartphones, smartwatches, and even car kits.

The first device to run Harmony OS will be launched by Honor and it’ll be a smart television. We won’t be seeing a smartphone running Harmony OS this year and the company still affirms its dependence on Android.

Work on version 1.0 of the OS was started two years back and version 2.0 of its microkernel will be released next year while version 3.0 arrives in 2021. The company’s Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu also added Harmony OS will be faster and safer than Android.

According to Huawei, there’s no root access in the OS, making it safer than Android. They also boasted EAL 5+ certification, an international standard for assurance levels. Lastly, the operating system will be made open-source in the near future.

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Samsung reveals Galaxy Note 10+ Star Wars Special Edition

Embrace the dark side

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Samsung and Star Wars have always had the “galaxy” in common and now these two worlds are colliding with the South Korean company’s announcement of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Star Wars Special Edition.

The collaboration ties directly with the upcoming film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker which will hit theaters on December 20. The Galaxy Note 10+ Star Wars Special Edition does feature a Skywalker, but it’s one that does not carry that name.

The phone’s design has Kylo Ren all over it. Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Leia Skywalker. He’s also the most prominent user of the dark side of the force in the most recent movies on the film franchise.

The device is all black with some red accents. Also in red is the accompanying S Pen, mimicking the color of the light saber that Kylo Ren carries around. On its back is the Samsung logo as well the logo of the First Order which is essentially the new army inspired by the Galactic Empire.

The special edition smartphone will come in a bundle that includes Galaxy Buds that is also all black with red accents. Also included is a special edition leather case that shows Kylo Ren and a metal badge that acts as a collector’s item.

Pricing and Availability

According to Samsung’s release, The Galaxy Note 10+ Star Wars Special Edition unlocked by Samsung version will be available only in limited quantities and will retail for US$ 1299.99 staring December in USA.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ Review

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Philips Hue is now available in the Philippines

With starter kits included

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Image by GadgetMatch

Philips Hue has been around since 2012. Just two years ago, we listed Philips Hue under must-have devices for a smarter home. Now, they officially launched it in the Philippines.

In case you missed it, the Philips Hue system is not just about “smart bulbs”, it’s also a connected lighting system for your home — strips, spots, lamps, and controls all included. With the excellence of developers, there are more than 700 third-party apps designed for the Hue.

The Philips Hue is responsible for switching light controls and changing colors within the reach of your fingertips. You can personalize and choose from the spectrum of 16 million colors in order to change your interior’s ambiance. It also has a feature that increases the brightness when you wake up in the day.

Other than that, there are also light scenes such as Tropical Twilight or Tokyo Lights, or even a customized scene based on your liking. The light activity can even depend on the music, video, and games you are playing — especially that it has an integration on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. Best of all, you can control it through voice commands with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, and Nest. It’s also compatible with other smart-home platforms such as Samsung SmartThings, Bosch, and Logitech.

Price and availability

The Hue White ambiance Starter Kit includes a Philips Hue White Ambiance Bulb, bridge, and wireless dimmer switch.

Meanwhile, the Hue White and Color Ambiance Kit includes three white and color ambiance bulbs, plus a bridge.

Here are the official prices:

Starter Kits

  • Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Kit — PhP 10,390
  • Philips Hue White Ambiance Kit — PhP 7,490

Bulbs

  • Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Bulb — PhP 2,990
  • Philips Hue White Ambiance Bulb — PhP 1,790

Controls

  • Philips Hue bridge — PhP 3,690
  • Philips Hue wireless dimmer switch — PhP 1,290
  • Philips Hue Motion sensor — PhP 2,690

You can get the Philips Hue in select Power Mac Centers, Switch, iStore, Nifty, Urban Gadgets, Infomax Glorietta, Abenson Global City, and online at the Philips Lighting Official Store on Lazada.

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TikTok will launch a Spotify competitor

Will release in December

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Illustration by MJ Jucutan

For quite a while now, TikTok has captured the short-form social media landscape. Whereas the past had the incredibly popular Vine, the world now has ByteDance’s equally popular platform. However, unlike Vine, TikTok looks like it’s here to stay. And, because of TikTok’s success, ByteDance can already expand beyond its niche.

Reportedly, ByteDance is currently negotiating content deals with major music labels including Sony Music, Universal Music, and Warner Music. The deal supposedly relates to an upcoming, still-unnamed music streaming service. The developer is already amassing a workable cache of songs to include.

Besides the music content, the service will also include a smaller short video archive. The short videos will play over the interface while users search for more music. Additionally, users can sync the music to the videos.

According to the same report, ByteDance will launch the service as early as next month. It will come out first in smaller markets — like India and Indonesia — before a wider worldwide release.

Of course, the service’s popularity is still in question. TikTok is currently considered a security threat in the US.

As for price, the service will cost less than the world’s most popular option, Spotify. However, this alleged price compares Spotify’s current US price of US$ 10. (As such, this doesn’t mean much since Spotify costs less depending on region and package.)

SEE ALSO: Spotify extends free trial to 3 months

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