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LG unveils flagship V20 with Android Nougat and removable battery

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You really have to hand it to LG for trying something different each time it releases a new flagship. Last year’s V10 delivered a rugged build with a pair of front-facing cameras and secondary LCD screen, while the more recent G5 introduced the world to partial modularity through its add-on Friends. Topping their innovations was going to be a challenge, but LG went ahead and added a second entry to the V-series with the V20.

There’s a lot to talk about with the V20, but going straight to the construction seems to be the obvious choice. The build is top-notch with a lightweight, shock-resistant aluminum body; however, a somewhat surprising omission is the partial modularity found in the G5. Rumors suggested compatibility with the same add-ons the G5 has. Instead, you can only press a button on the side to eject the back plate and swap the battery. You can barely call it innovative or modular, but considering the lack of user-replaceable batteries in flagship phones, this is something a lot of people will appreciate.

LG V20 front

Another highlight is the inclusion of Android 7.0 Nougat as soon as you turn on the V20. Google’s Nexus devices had the privilege of being the first to have the latest Android version out of the box in recent years, so it’s a big deal for LG to earn the recognition. For consumers, this means you won’t have to wait in line to receive Android’s most complete OS to date, like on other handsets stuck on 6.0 Marshmallow or even 5.0 Lollipop. V20 users will probably also be ahead of the pack once the next Android flavor rolls out.

The rest of the signature features are carryovers from the two older flagships, including the same dual camera setup as the G5 (a 16-megapixel sensor with optical image stabilization combined with a wide-angle 8-megapixel shooter) and the V10’s secondary LCD screen (now at 2.2 inches) found above the main display, which is a 5.7-inch Quad HD panel. What’s extra special about the V20 is the 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC capabilities, to the delight of audiophiles everywhere. LG claims it can reduce up to 50 percent of ambient noise levels, on top of producing cleaner and crisper sounds than ordinary smartphones. Plus, you’ll be able to fit in lots of music with the 64GB of internal storage that’s expandable using a microSD card.

LG V20 Cover

It’s a no-brainer that the V20 is filled to the brim with the very best internals, but let’s list the rest of them down anyway. There’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset to effortlessly process every task, 4GB of RAM to hold all the active apps together, and a 3,200mAh battery that can be recharged swiftly through Quick Charge 3.0. The usual fingerprint scanner is once again found at the back, right on top of the power button and below the rear camera.

The LG V20 will be available in the colors titan, pink, and silver. We’ll update this page once we find out the price and availability.

LG V20 back

[irp posts=”7555″ name=”LG V20 review”]

Enterprise

South Korea investigating Apple and Google for app payments

In hot water

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Both Apple and Google are endlessly circulating in a maelstrom of controversy surrounding their respective app stores. Last year, app developers went up against the two giants for enforcing unfair payment systems against smaller developers. Since then, the issue has raged on. Now, South Korea is going after the two companies for the same problem.

As reported by Reuters, South Korean authorities, specifically the Korea Communications Commission, have decided to investigate Apple and Google for reportedly forcing developers into adopting payment systems inside App Store and Play Store.

Unfortunately, the report does not indicate what the companies exactly did to warrant an investigation. While one can easily cast it off as forcing the system unto others, it can also encompass a failure to meet the requirements on time. Google, for example, has stated that it has (and is still willing to) cooperate with authorities to resolve the issue.

Apple, on the other hand, has not commented on the issue.

Back in 2020, Fortnite, one of the most controversial instances of the issue, was expelled from the App Store and the Play Store for going against the margins demanded by Apple and Google. Since then, other apps, like Tinder, have also seesawed their way in and out of the issue.

SEE ALSO: Google is potentially banning Tinder from Play Store

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Gaming

Practically no one is playing Netflix’s games, report says

Despite being free to play

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Recently, Netflix gambled big on the future of its platform. Besides cutting a plethora of titles in production, the platform introduced a gallery of mobile games for all of its subscribers. As the gaming library grew, it acquired impressive titles from the best of the mobile gaming world. However, despite Netflix’s efforts, only less than one percent of the platform’s subscribers are playing the games.

In a new app study (via CNBC), Netflix’s games average only 1.7 million users daily. Overall, the games have been downloaded 23.3 million times.

Though not an insignificant number, the figure is a tiny, tiny portion of Netflix’s main user base. For reference, Netflix currently has around 221 million subscribers. That’s less than one percent of Netflix subscribers playing their games.

Netflix’s gaming strategy is an ongoing experiment. While the company has eyed the industry for a while now, Netflix is facing deeper gravitas with making sure every endeavor succeeds. As of late, the platform has bled for subscribers, new and old.

For the first time in a while, Netflix has lost subscribers, marking the rise in popularity of other streaming platforms. It isn’t the only shark in the lake. Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max are creating compelling cases for a switch.

That said, if you still pay for a Netflix subscribers, the gaming library comes with the price of admission. Besides inspired titles from its properties like Stranger Things, the library also comes with heavy hitters like Spiritfarer.

SEE ALSO: Netflix’s The Gray Man is getting its own cinematic universe

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Apple is working on smart home products

Plus the return of the HomePod

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Despite being one of the biggest companies in technology today, Apple still has some catching up to do. Other companies in the industry, namely Amazon and Google, have expanded their reach into other facets of a person’s lifestyle, including the smart home. Leveraging its already successful lineup, Apple is spending more time to plunge deeper into the intricate world of smart homes.

As reported by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the company is currently working on four smart home devices, bolstering what the lineup already has. Unsurprisingly, the new slate includes two upgrades to Apple’s HomePod lineup: a resurrected HomePod and an improved HomePod mini. (Of note, Apple canceled the regular version last year, making the potential upgrade a big return for the company.)

The other two devices are more surprising. Both will feature a screen and a smart speaker rolled into one. Think of a love child between an iPad and a HomePod. One of the two will focus primarily on kitchen use, while the other (expanded with an onboard camera) will feature prominently in the living room.

For smart home enthusiasts, the device should sound familiar. It bears a striking resemblance to Amazon’s Echo Show lineup or Google’s Nest Hub. That said, there is no guarantee that these devices will make their way to a debut in the future. Regardless, Apple is certainly trying to make more progress in delivering smart home products besides just smart speakers.

SEE ALSO: Apple is enticing Android users to switch with new ad

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