Events

Huawei Mate S: The Frankenphone

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Huawei’s biggest announcement at IFA 2015 is the Huawei Mate S – a 5.5-inch smartphone headlined by… wait for it… Force Touch.

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Yes, the same Force Touch first seen on the Apple Watch which has also made its way to the MacBook and is rumored to appear on the Cupertino company’s next iPhone. In case you need a reminder, Force Touch is a feature that allows you to feel a sensation despite the display being just a flat surface. Varying levels of pressure prompts a different command. One should note though that Force Touch on the Mate S will only come with its 128GB variant.

Flip the phone over and you’d think you’re looking at an HTC One M9, except there’s a Huawei logo on the lower part. In a recent video on GadgetMatch we talked about a ‘Frankenphone’, and Mate S could very well be it seeing as how it took the best out of other phones and tried to make them all work together.

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Huawei also joins the wearables battle with the Huawei Watch. A luxurious-looking smartwatch that runs Android Wear OS. Like the Gear S2, it also sports a round design and actually looks like a traditional watch.

It starts at $349 (P16,325) but the classier looking gold-model will burn your pocket at $799 (P37,374). Yikes!

Something it has going for is that it will work with both Android and iOS devices. It comes with a wireless fast-charging dock that should get you to about 80 percent battery life in 45 minutes. Note though that the Huawei Watch doesn’t have NFC and lacks GPS tracking. If those aren’t deal breakers for you then lookout for the watch as it becomes available on September 17.

[irp posts=”1342″ name=”Huawei’s MateBook is a PC that looks and feels like a tablet”]

IFA 2020

Samsung reportedly pulls out of IFA 2020

It begins once again

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Here we go again. After an abysmal first quarter for in-person events, the tech industry is once again migrating out of big conventions for the foreseeable future. This time, a major company has reportedly pulled out from one of the last remaining big events of the year, IFA 2020.

According to The Korea Herald, Samsung has decided to cancel its appearance at the upcoming Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin (IFA) in September. Though the company has not made an official announcement yet, the swirl of reports all conclude that Samsung is currently reassessing its plans for in-person events in the future.

Currently, IFA 2020 is still one of the remaining stalwarts in 2020’s diminishing slate of tech showcases. Since the advent of the coronavirus crisis, major events have decided to cancel their cornerstone dates for the interest of public safety. Though some have migrated to online or limited conferences, 2020 is essentially a write-off for in-person events.

While IFA 2020 is still currently pushing through with in-person plans at the time of writing, the latest one to bite the dust is Computex 2020, settling for a safer 2021 date instead. Similarly, other events have decided to restart operations in 2021, pending any further developments in the ongoing pandemic.

Samsung’s expected announcement is major, however. Back in February, companies very quickly dropped out of events one after the other. Will Samsung restart an unfortunate trend this time around?

Recently, Apple successfully held its annual WWDC 2020 online, proving the efficacy of online-only events for the short term. If Samsung migrates to an online-only platform, it will be in good company.

Samsung is expected to launch three major devices between August and October this year. Safe to say, the company won’t launch any of those products at IFA 2020 anymore.

SEE ALSO: IFA 2020 to adopt an ‘innovative’ form of conferencing

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Apps

Digital keys lets you unlock your car with an iPhone

No more keys that’ll scratch your phone

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Apple wants to replace physical keys with an iPhone and the brand has announced a new feature at WWDC 2020 to make this possible. Digital keys are stored on your iPhone and can be used to unlock the car with just a single tap. Furthermore, you can share the key with your friends and family via iMessage.

Emily Schubert, Apple senior manager of car experience engineering, demonstrated how a driver can tap the door handle with their iPhone to unlock the sedan. To start the car, just keep the iPhone on the car’s charging pad and you’re good to go.

The technology leverages NFC (Near Field Communication) to interact with the car. The Wallet app is a safe haven for your keys and this is the same app where your Apple Card, as well as other tickets, are stored.

On the automobile side, BMW will be the first marque to introduce it to drivers. The digital key functionality shall feature first in the 2021 BMW 5 series this July. Apple said more cars that work with the system will come to the market next year. For electric cars, the tech giant is also working on its mapping application to show nearby charging points.

While Tesla owners will not be surprised by this announcement, it can bring a monumental change for many since it relies on existing technology and can support cars that are already on the road.

Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, said the tech giant is working on a standard with industry groups to realize a secure, “real” keyless experience by next year.

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Apps

WWDC 2020 Highlights

iPhone widgets, macOS Big Sur redesign, Apple Silicon, and more

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A lot of things happened during Apple’s WWDC 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Apple made this an online-only event.

There are a lot of announcements including the new iOS and iPadOS home screen widgets, macOS redesign, new watchOS features, and more. If you missed the chance to watch the whole 3-hour keynote, we made it shorter for you.

Watch our highlights video here.

 

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