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Not OK, Google: Assistant will be exclusive to Pixel

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Google came out with the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones this week, with one of their main attractions being Android 7.1 Nougat, which no other phone has for now.

And while we expect the software update to roll out later this year (presumably to Nexus and Android One devices first; the beta version will launch later this month), it’s imperative to talk about Nougat on Pixel because both handsets will reportedly have some software features that may not be found anywhere else. Features you’ll want to use with regularity, or at least try out.

Android Police has put together a list of “Pixel-exclusive and non-exclusive changes” that are baked into Android 7.1 Nougat. The list is surprisingly long — well, for a small tick up on the upgrade ladder — so take a deep breath before reading through the entire change log. Oh, and spoiler alert: You won’t like what you read, for reasons we’ll explore later.

Pixel-specific features:

  • Pixel Launcher—swipe up for all apps, new Search Box, date/weather header on home
  • Google Assistant
  • Unlimited original quality photo/video backup to Google Photos
  • Smart Storage—when storage is full, automatically removes old backed up photos/videos
  • Phone/Chat support (new support tab in settings), screen-share functionality
  • Quick switch adapter for wired setup from Android or iPhone
  • Pixel Camera:
    • Electronic Image Stabilization (“video stabilization”) 2.0
    • Pro Features
      • White Balance Presets
      • Exposure Compensation
      • AE/AF Locking
      • Viewfinder grid modes
    • HW-accelerated (on Qualcomm Hexagon coprocessor) HDR+ image processing
    • Smartburst
  • Sensor Hub processor with tightly integrated sensors (accel, gyro, mag) + connectivity (Wi-Fi, Cell, GPS)
  • Cosmetic
    • Solid navbar icons with home affordance for Assistant
    • SysUI accent color theming
    • Wallpaper picker with new wallpapers and sounds
    • New setup look and feel
    • Dynamic calendar date icon

Android 7.1 features (not Pixel-specific):

  • Night Light (this shifts the color temperature of your screen a la iOS’ Night Shift mode or f.lux)
  • Touch/display performance improvements
  • Moves (Fingerprint swipe-down gesture—opt-in)
  • Seamless A/B system updates
  • Daydream VR mode
  • Developer features:
    • App shortcuts/shortcut manager APIs
    • Circular app icons support
    • Keyboard image insertion
    • Fingerprint sensor gesture to open/close notification shade
    • Manual storage manager Intent for apps
    • Improved VR thread scheduling
    • Enhanced wallpaper metadata
    • Multi-endpoint call support
    • Support for various MNO requirements
      • PCDMA voice privacy property
      • Source type support for Visual Voicemail
      • Carrier config options for managing video telephony
  • Manual storage manager – identifies apps and files and apps using storage

So yeah, in case it wasn’t already clear, Google Assistant — the voice-activated digital assistant honed and refined by years of us using Google services, the single product Tuesday’s keynote address hinged on — won’t be coming to non-Pixel handsets and tablets.

Which is a head-scratcher, to say the least, because Google executives devoted much of their speech to outlining a future powered by voice. They conveniently left out the part about that future depending upon the general population choosing the Pixel over the similarly priced Samsung Galaxy S7 or Apple iPhone 7, or even the OnePlus 3.

It should’ve been the other way around — the benefits of Google’s artificial intelligence needs to reach all Android devices going forward, not just two. Regardless of whether or not people are ready and willing to have conversations with their phone.

However, Google isn’t closing down possibilities with Pixel’s best features, including Assistant. Some features could trickle down to other devices running Android Nougat; Google could release a diluted app version of Assistant that could be installed onto Androids and iPhones. That might happen in 2017. Speaking to TechCrunch, a Google spokesperson said: “Our goal is to make the Google Assistant widely available to users, and we’ll continue to launch new surfaces over the course of the next year.”

[irp posts=”8575" name=”Android made downloading from Google Play much easier”]

Source: Android Police

Image credit: NPR

News

Rumor: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite price in the Philippines

Definitely an affordable Galaxy Note!

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Looks like Samsung Philippines will be on a launch spree. Rumor has it the Galaxy A71 might go on sale in February. One Matchketeer tipped us on what the pricing for that phone will be, now another one slid in our DMs to tell us the possible pricing for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite.

We’re told the price for the Galaxy Note 10 Lite is PhP 29,990 (US$ 591), and it’s expected to go on sale in Samsung’s offline and online channels.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite product page on Samsung Philippines’ website | GadgetMatch

It’s still unsure when the Galaxy Note 10 Lite will officially drop in the Philippines. However, the product page for the Galaxy Note 10 Lite is already up, which means it’s really coming soon. If this price is true, the Galaxy Note 10 Lite might sell like hotcakes to those who’ve always wanted a Galaxy Note! For now, we can just wait for Samsung to reveal the exact price and availability for the much-awaited device.

An affordable Galaxy Note

The Galaxy Note 10 Lite sports a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus Infinity-O Display. It’s powered by a 10nm 64-bit Octa-core processor, most likely Exynos 8895, and carries a 4,500mAh battery. It’s running Android 10 and One UI 2.0, with either 6 or 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage.

It also features three 12-megapixel camera lenses on its rear for ultra-wide, wide-angle, and telephoto, and a 32-megapixel selfie shooter. The Galaxy Note 10 Lite will still run Samsung’s ecosystem of apps like Samsung Pay, Samsung Health, and Samsung Knox. It will be available in three colors: Aura Glow, Aura Black, and Aura Red.

SEE MORE: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite Hands-on | Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite: Every bit the Note we know and love

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News

Rumor: Samsung Galaxy A71 price in the Philippines

That price is sweet!

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When Samsung showcased the Galaxy A51 and A71, it was only a matter of time before it went on sale. As Samsung is preparing for its Unpacked event, it looks like the Galaxy A71 will make some noise too.

GadgetMatch was tipped by a Matchketeer from a reputable store in the Philippines. Expectedly, the Galaxy A71 will go on sale in February, priced at PhP 22,990 (US$ 451). Surprisingly, it follows its predecessor’s launch price.

As per Samsung Philippines’ website, the Galaxy A71 will be available soon in Samsung’s store, Abenson, Anson’s, Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, and Lazada.

Screenshot on Samsung Philippines’ website | GadgetMatch

Furthermore, pre-order for the Galaxy A71 is expected to start on February 5 when Samsung hosts the Awesome Concert at BGC Ampitheater. The event will feature the finalists from Samsung’s #danceAwesome challenge contest on TikTok through Samsung Members app.

Following BLACKPINK’s appearance in Jakarta where Samsung showcased the Galaxy A51 and A71, it looks like Samsung Philippines is going after the same direction. The Galaxy A71 might launch locally and start pre-order during the Awesome event!

Awesome screen, awesome camera, long-lasting battery life

Samsung’s Galaxy A71 is much-awaited, thanks to its promising awesome screen, awesome camera, and long-lasting battery life. It sports a 6.7-inch FHD Super AMOLED Display, packed with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM with 128GB of internal storage, expandable through a microSD card slot.

The Galaxy A71 will feature Samsung’s ISOCELL Bright Sensor on its 64-megapixel main camera. It’s also paired with three other cameras: a 5-megapixel depth sensor, another 5-megapixel macro camera, and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide angle lens. For its front-facing camera, it has a 32-megapixel selfie shooter.

Powering the smartphone is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 SoC. It will carry a 4500mAh battery, with support for 25W fast charging. Additionally, you get Samsung staples like Bixby, Samsung Health, and Samsung Knox. The Samsung Galaxy A71 will come in three colors: Prism Crush Black, Silver, and Blue.

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Laptops

Huawei launches sleek, career-starting Matebook D 15″

For those getting started

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We often get asked for recommendations on a capable laptop but one that fits the budget for most people who are just getting started with their careers. Budget constraints make it a tough question but it appears Huawei has an answer with the Matebook D 15″.

Entry-level laptops do exist, but rarely do they come in the form factor and look that you get with the huawei matebook d 15″. As the name suggests, it has a 15.6-inch 16:9 IPS LCD 1080p display with an 87 percent screen-to-body ratio. That display is also TUV Rheinland certified for low blue light emission making it easy on the eyes.

Speaking of being easy on the eyes, one look and you would think this laptop is beyond your budget. It’s very reminiscent of a certain expensive line of laptops from another brand.

Like those laptops, its power button also has a fingerprint sensor. This makes authentication and turning the device on a seamless single motion. It also has this nifty features that’s almost a requirement with laptop these days — a recessing webcam. It sits alongside the function keys and the camera stays hidden when not in use.

Powered by AMD Ryzen

inside the Huawei Matebook D 15 is powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor along with up to 8gb of ram. That means this laptop has enough juice to run multiple apps at the same time like a browser with multiple tabs open, spreadsheets, word documents. There’s also the AMD Radeon Vega 8 for graphics support, perfect for your photo editing projects.

You can get things done with several apps running in the background without worrying that the laptop will slow down or heat up. The laptop includes a new version of the Huawei Shark Fin fan for better cooling. For storage, the Matebook D 15″ may be configured with a combination of SSD and hard disk options.

To juice it up, the laptop comes with a 65W USB-C charger. If you also own a Huawei smartphone, you can charge it using this power bring. It’s smart enough to know when to stop drawing power to avoid overcharging.

Other than the obvious USB-C port you also get one USB-A 3.0 port, two USB-A 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The laptop has two digital speakers and integrated digital microphones if you don’t have a device to plug in that jack.

Speaking of having a Huawei phone, the Matebook D 15″ comes with Huawei Share. The feature lets you sync your phone screen to the laptop and lends you access to all the phone’s apps and functions without needing to touch your phone. Neat!

Pricing and availability

The Huawei Matebook D 15″ comes in Space Grey . It retails for PhP 37,990. Pre-order period is from February 8 to 14, 2020. Those who pre-order will also get a hold of PhP 9,990 worth of freebies including a Huawei T3 8″ tablet, a Huawei Bluetooth mouse, and a Huawei backpack.

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