News

Lenovo brings Moto 360 smartwatch to the Philippines

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When Google first unveiled its smartwatch operating system, Android Wear, back in 2014, it launched with three partners – LG, Motorola, and Samsung.

While the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live dropped a few months earlier, it was the Moto 360 that almost everyone wanted (and waited for). Unlike the other two that were more tech–on–a–strap, the Moto 360 looked and felt more like a traditional watch, with a round face and genuine leather straps to choose from.


Now on its second iteration, the Moto 360 is available in classic and sporty variants, and works not only with Android phones but with iPhones as well (in case you’ve been resisting the Apple Watch).

The standard Moto 360 offers interchangeable watch bands, repositioned buttons, and longer battery life. The silicone Moto 360 Sport, on the other hand, has GPS built in, plus a “hybrid display” that’s readable even under the sun.

Following its end-of-2015 launch in the U.S. and Europe, the smartwatch has made a gradual roll out across Southeast Asia, coming to Singapore in December, Malaysia in January, Indonesia in March, and Thailand in April.

Earlier today, Lenovo Philippines announced the Moto 360 2nd Gen and Moto 360 Sport will be coming to the Philippines sometime before the end of August 2016.  

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The Moto 360 Sport 45mm comes in black, white, and flame (read: orange), and will retail for P16,999 ($360). While the Moto 360 2nd Gen costs P16,999 for the 42mm model with a black leather strap, P17,999 ($380) for the 42mm rose-gold model, and P18,999 ($400) for the 46mm cognac model.  

You should be able to find them at your favorite SM Cyberzone tech store. The complete list of stores should be available soon. We’re taking the Moto 360 Sport for a spin this week, and we should have a video out soon.

In the meantime, check out our hands-on video of the Moto 360 2nd Gen from IFA 2015.

And our unboxing of the original Moto 360.

[irp posts=”8312" name=”Here’s why you won’t see a new Moto smartwatch anytime soon”]

Enterprise

Huawei’s phones can’t use microSD cards anymore

Another casualty of the ban

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Everyone knows what happened to Huawei. As the week winds down, the Trump ban is dismantling the Chinese company piece by piece. Most notably, Google has stopped its business dealings with Huawei. Soon after, hardware company ARM ceased support for future Huawei chips. Huawei has lost considerable support on both hardware and software sides.

Now, the company has lost another major backer. Reported by Nikkei Asian Review, the SD Association has revoked Huawei’s membership status. As the name suggests, the trade group dictates the SD and microSD standards of the industry. The Chinese company cannot use the standard for future devices anymore. Fortunately, Huawei can still use the memory cards for existing phones.


However, the latest bridge-burning has drastically changed the company’s future. Given everything, Huawei’s future does not include Google, ARM, and microSD extensions, among others. All three components are major parts of today’s phones.

Fortunately, the loss of microSD support isn’t a deadly deal. Huawei can still use other standards for memory card extension. The company also has its own proprietary standard called the Nano Memory Card. Of course, proprietary hardware is almost always a turn-off. Despite cushioning the SD Association loss, the Nano Memory Card isn’t as appealing as the universally available microSD card.

In other news, Huawei has also “temporarily” lost access to the Wi-Fi Alliance. Much like the SD Association, the Wi-Fi Alliance dictates the connectivity standards of devices. Thankfully, Huawei can still use Wi-Fi in its devices. However, the company cannot participate in any discussions to shape Wi-Fi’s future.

Likewise, Huawei has voluntarily withdrawn from JEDEC, a trade group that defines semiconductor standards. As with the Wi-Fi Alliance, the company cannot contribute to any future discussions.

Fortunately, both restrictions don’t impact the company’s future as much. However, Huawei’s future is slowly moving away from industry standards. If the company hopes to survive, Huawei must develop its own proprietary hardware or find replacements elsewhere.

SEE ALSO: Philippines: Huawei ban ‘will have a little impact’ on the country

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Enterprise

Philippines: Huawei ban ‘will have a little impact’ on the country

States the Philippines’ robust cybersecurity measures

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Throughout the past few days, the Huawei debacle has devastated companies and consumers across the globe. Everyone is falling for the fear. Huawei’s long-standing suppliers have cut ties with the company. Huawei’s consumers are getting rid of their favored headsets. The wave has swept the whole world.

Naturally, the Philippines isn’t immune. Recently, smartphone retailers and resellers have started refusing Huawei devices from their stores. Local Huawei users can’t easily sell their devices to the second-hand market anymore.


However, an important question still stands. How much will the Huawei ban affect the Philippines?

Of course, the ban originates from Trump’s trade war against China. Among other reasons, the American government cites the company’s inherent cybersecurity risks as the prime motivator. Supposedly, Huawei’s telecommunications hardware can transmit valuable data to the Chinese government. Given the Philippines’ proximity to China, are we also at risk?

According to the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Huawei’s ban “will have a little impact in the Philippine telecommunications industry.” Shared through a Facebook post, the DICT assures users of the country’s robust cybersecurity measures. As of now, the department has not reported any cybersecurity breaches coming from Huawei equipment.

Likewise, shortly after the news broke, local telcos confirmed continued support for Huawei’s devices. According to the DICT, “they will diversify in their present and future procurements of equipment to make their networks more robust and future proof.” The department is also imposing strict rules on local telcos regarding network monitoring. The statement also quickly adds the imposition of the same rules on a potential third telco.

Is the DICT’s statement believable? For now, Huawei’s impact is still marginal at best. Companies and consumers are going on the perceived risk of the future. Right now, Huawei has not announced drastic changes to its products yet. Existing Huawei products still support Google.

Of course, cybersecurity is another issue. The risk will always exist when foreign companies control the telecommunications equipment of another country. At the very least, the DICT isn’t treating the whole debacle as a non-issue. Hopefully, the department’s promises are an optimistic sign for the country’s telecommunications industry.

SEE ALSO: Huawei granted 90-day extension before total ban

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IGTV adds support for horizontal video

No longer exclusive to vertical content

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When Instagram’s IGTV platform first launched, it was special for its focus on vertically oriented videos. The reasoning here is that this is how people naturally hold their smartphones, and vertical video recording has become a standard.

Unfortunately, IGTV didn’t exactly fly from the get-go. Even after certain adjustments, such as integrating its system into Instagram itself for better exposure, content creators and casual users couldn’t fully embrace the platform.


In yet another move — possibly the most drastic yet — IGTV will now support landscape videos. This comes as a response to both creators and viewers who want to upload and watch videos in “a more natural way.”

“Ultimately, our vision is to make IGTV a destination for great content no matter how it’s shot so creators can express themselves how they want,” wrote Instagram on its blog.

The blog reminds us that a similar change happened to Instagram in 2015, when you could start uploading photos in non-square formats. IGTV hopes that this transformation will have the same positive effect.

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