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LG Velvet UI will roll-out to 6 older phones

Never ditch your existing customers

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LG has announced it’ll be rolling out the new Velvet UI to six older phones.

It further added that the decision was made after considering comments via support channels. The move will further strengthen the brand’s decision to pivot and act as a confidence-building measure for its existing flagship users.

The six phones that shall be getting the new UI are:

  • LG V50 ThinQ
  • LG V50S ThinQ
  • LG V40 ThinQ
  • LG V35 ThinQ
  • LG G8 ThinQ
  • LG G7 ThinQ

LG changed its strategy for the mobile division this year and decided to proceed with a lifestyle-centric lineup. Starting with the Velvet, it revamped the software as well. This marked the company’s move away from traditional V and G-series, creating a new niche of its own.

The company says it’ll constantly monitor user feedback on the Velvet UI to ensure maximum appeal. A few years ago, LG used to go head-on against Samsung’s flagship offerings. Even though the brand made excellent phones, it just couldn’t match Samsung’s hype and always had to settle for the second position.

With declining sales and no operational profitability, the new strategy makes sense. Sony has also changed its outlook and is focusing on doing what it does best — make the best camera phones. Similarly, LG can find itself a sweet-spot in the lifestyle-oriented market.

India

Redmi K40 could make a global debut as the POCO F3

Wasn’t POCO supposed to be an “independent” brand?

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File Photo: POCO F2 Pro

Xiaomi and realme have often rebranded their phones depending on the market. Now, there’s a high possibility that Xiaomi could launch the Redmi K40, which was recently unveiled in China, as the POCO F3 in India.

As spotted by Stufflistings, the Redmi K40 (model number M2012K11AG) has been certified by the FCC ahead of its global launch as a POCO branded phone. The Redmi K40 series also includes the K40 Pro and K40 Pro+, but their global launch details are yet to be ascertained.

Stufflistings also shared that the same phone has been IMEI validated in India already in a follow-up tweet. Notably, there’s no mention of 5G support here. We shall wait for further details before jumping to conclusions.

The rebranding isn’t surprising because the POCO F2 was actually a rebranded Redmi K30 Pro. And, the POCO X2 was a Redmi K30 in select markets. While POCO and Redmi are now independent brands, it’s clear that they’re fully leveraging Xiaomi’s supply chain.

On the specs side, the phone is expected to have a Snapdragon 870 processor, a 48-megapixel primary camera, and a 4,420mAh battery with 33W fast charging. On the front will be a 6.7-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate.

Early this year, POCO India’s Country Director, Anuj Sharma, confirmed that the brand is considering launching an F-series phone focused on performance and can sport a flagship-grade processor. While the Snapdragon 888 becomes a costly venture for an affordable phone, the Snapdragon 870 provides an ideal middle ground.

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Apple’s iPhone 13 series won’t get a USB-C port

Lightning connector is still the king

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Apple’s iPhones have shipped with a Lightning port for the longest time, and the trend won’t be changing anytime soon. While USB-C continues to rule the industry today, Apple shall stick with the conventional port for an indefinite period of time.

The latest research note by TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will not ditch the Lightning connector in favor of a USB Type-C standard on iPhones anytime soon. And the decision to do so apparently has a lot to do with two key reasons — profits and longevity.

“We believe that USB-C is detrimental to the MFi business’s profitability, and its waterproof specification is lower than Lightning and MagSafe,” he said in the note, as quoted by AppleInsider. MFi stands for Apple’s Made for iPhone (MFi) program, allowing Apple to license the proprietary technology to other brands for making compatible accessories.

Kuo also predicts that the Pro iPhone model might lose the notch, favoring a hole-punch camera that’s popular on Android phones. However, he also adds that a shift to Touch ID is unlikely.

The note also says that we can expect an iPhone SE option with 5G compatibility. This is actually a no-brainer since every phone maker is gearing up for the boom, and the developing markets are yet to deploy full-scale 5G, giving some time to Apple.

Lastly, he speculates that the iPhone 13 Pro successor will be Apple’s main iPhone release to abandon the notch and “adopt” the hole-punch display design. Android phone makers have taken a similar approach, and it has worked well so far for everyone.

Users have long asked for a USB-C port on the iPhone because it eliminates the need to carry a Lightning cable wherever you go. Thanks to standardization, a USB-C wire is capable of charging a MacBook, Android phone, third-party accessories, as well as power banks. Having one universal port helps massively in enabling easy portability. In fact, even the iPad Pro has a USB-C port available now.

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Apps

Facebook to pay $650 million in facial recognition lawsuit

The company that never learns

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A federal judge has approved a settlement in which Facebook will pay US$ 650 million to a class-action lawsuit over its tagging feature. The lawsuit alleged that facial recognition technology, used to tag photos, infringed on users’ privacy.

Facebook users who submitted claims will get at least US$ 345 from the company, the AP reported. The lawsuit had claimed that the adoption of facial recognition technology was being done without seeking permission from users. The social network also failed to inform the users how long their data was being stored.

While many of us view the tagging option as a feature, the platform collects sensitive facial recognition data, whose handling procedures remain opaque. Facebook ended photo-tagging suggestions in 2019 and instead opted for a model to allow users to control what data the platform has over their face.

“Overall, the settlement is a major win for consumers in the hotly contested area of digital privacy,” wrote Judge Donato. “The standing issue makes this settlement all the more valuable because Facebook and other big tech companies continue to fight the proposition that a statutory privacy violation is a genuine harm.”

The class-action case was first filed in Illinois in 2015, suggesting a violation of the Biometric Information Privacy Act. Facebook initially agreed to pay US$ 550 million last year, but another $100 million was added to the judge’s insistence.

 

Attorney Jay Edelson, who originally filed the suit in Illinois in April 2015, told the Chicago Tribune that the settlement was a “big deal.” He also tweeted that the settlement, “was the largest cash privacy class action settlement in history.”

Facebook has an abysmal track record of managing users’ data. In 2019, The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) imposed a US$ 5 billion penalty on Facebook for misrepresenting users’ ability to control their facial recognition data, as well as other sensitive account metadata.

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