News

Samsung starts rolling out Android Pie beta to Galaxy S9 units worldwide

Full update to come within the coming months

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Baking pie takes a little patience. Of course, patience varies from person to person. However, everyone can agree that it shouldn’t take months. Despite launching months ago, Android Pie is still the rarest operating system in the market.

Throughout Android’s evolution, Google has never been a stranger to this disparaging trend. Seemingly, every succeeding version gets rarer and rarer. However, the system’s developers have, at least, acknowledged the abysmal distribution rates. Developers and phone makers alike are slowly adopting the new version across the industry.

For one, Samsung is finally rolling out some much-needed updates to this year’s Galaxy S9 series. On launch, the series was stuck in Android Oreo. However, with Pie’s launch months later, every Galaxy S9 user’s immediate question was: When are we getting Android Pie?

Probably, it won’t be that far off anymore. The company has started releasing an Android Pie beta to users in South Korea and the United States.

Image source: SamMobile

Based on the update’s changelog, the beta will come with Samsung’s new One UI. The new user interface is Samsung’s next evolution in software design. Among other features, it comes with improved gesture controls and convenience features. Additionally, Samsung’s keyboard will come with Samsung’s take on the new Unicode 11 emojis.

Though in beta phase, Samsung’s latest rollout is a huge step in Android Pie distribution. It signals Samsung’s increasing readiness in releasing Android Pie to a larger chunk of its user base. The move likely indicates a full release within the next few months.

Currently, the update is available only in South Korea and the USA. However, it will likely trickle down to other territories in the coming weeks leading up to the year-end holiday.

SEE ALSO: Samsung unveils Exynos 9820 chipset based on 8nm LPP FinFET

News

Number portability is here, how will it work?

Easily switch among 3 telco providers!

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IMAGE/GadgetMatch

Number portability or the ability to move your mobile number under any carrier you want seemed like a pipe dream. Not anymore thanks to the combined efforts of the Avengers. No, just kidding. They’re called the Telecommunications Connectivity Inc. made up of DITO Telecommunity, Globe Inc., and Smart Communications. So, kind of like the Avengers, but of Telecom companies in the Philippines.

This was made possible thanks to teh passing of the Mobile Number Portability Act. Republic Act No. 11202, also known as the Mobile Number Portability Act, ensures that mobile phone users can keep their numbers even when they transfer to another service provider, or when they switch their subscription from postpaid to prepaid, or vice-versa.

How to avail Number Portability

  • How to port within networks, you need to meet the following requirements:
  • An active SIM and the requestor is the assignee of the mobile number to be ported
  • Zero remaining balance from your previous bill (for postpaid)
  • Non-existent court prohibitions
  • No pending transfer of ownership

Number porting makes it possible to also keep your number when switching from prepaid to postpaid plans. Syniverse will be the provider of number portability services in the Philippines.

“Mobile Number Portability is a complex process not only do we need to adopt it into our system but we need to integrate it with the networks of our competitors,” said Atty. Froilan Castelo who sits as the Chairman of the Telecommunications Connectivity Inc. General Counsel, Globe Group of Companies.

“It took us 22 months to build MNP, upgrade the system, integrate with the MNP service provider, and do testing with the other telcos,” he added.

Price and availability

As discussed earlier, number porting is free of charge. You can try out number porting on September 30, 2021.

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Gaming

Ubisoft offers Far Cry 5 for free this weekend

Experience the violence in Hope County for a limited time only

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Ubisoft has another weekend offering for everyone, focusing more on their popular franchises. In previous offerings, they gave players one whole weekend to play games such as Assassin’s Creed Origins for free. As such, any progress accumulated will carry over when you purchase the game. This time around, they’re offering the same mechanics to those who wish to play Far Cry 5 this weekend.

For those who are still unaware, Far Cry 5 is the fifth installment in one of Ubisoft’s most popular first-person shooter franchise. The game tackles socio-political and religious topics as you play a Deputy in Hope County, Montana attempting to detain Joseph Seed. Throughout the game, you will encounter members of Seed’s congregation, the Eden’s Gate, who will stop at nothing to see a prophecy fulfilled.

From August 5-9, 2021, Ubisoft is offering players for the PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S access to Far Cry 5 for free. For each platform, here are the timings:

  • Ubisoft Store (PC) – August 5, 9 PM
  • Epic Games Store (PC) – August 6, 1 AM
  • PlayStation Store (PS4, PS5) – August 5, 3:01 PM
  • Microsoft Store (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One) – August 5, 3:01 PM

 

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News

YouTube offers Premium lite – a cheaper, ad-free viewing plan

But it is only available in select European countries for now

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YouTube Premium Lite

YouTube Premium is currently the service’s premium option today, but that is changing — at least in some parts of Europe. There, avid YouTube users can now take advantage of a cheaper plan that offers ad-free viewing but without additional features.

Dubbed “Premium Lite”, the cheaper plan introduces ad-free viewing of YouTube videos but removes other premium features such as offline viewing and playing in the background. This plan also removes the perks from YouTube Music Premium.

For short, the plan only brings ad-free viewing to the table and not much else. Ad-free viewing is available for all platforms where YouTube is available — mobile apps, desktop, and even TV apps. It is also available for YouTube Kids as well — perfect for parents who let their kids binge-watch child-friendly shows.

For now, only users from some parts of Europe are able to take advantage of the YouTube Premium Lite plan. A statement by Google sent to The Verge confirms that the company is testing the plan in the Nordics (Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway) and Benelux (Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg). Users in those countries can pay for EUR 6.99 per month (approximately USD 8) to avail of the plan.

SEE ALSO: 4K Remaster of the Rickroll Video

Emphasis on the word “testing”, though. It is apparently in experimental phase and the plan might change in the future based on user feedback. However, one can only hope that Google offers a similar plan option in the future, considering the amount of ads on YouTube today.

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