News

Samsung teases its foldable smartphone’s launch date

It’s coming soon!

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After every smartphone launch this year, 2018 has shaped up as the year of the notch. However, for all the controversies, the notch is only a transitionary period between traditional slab phones and the truly bezel-less phone.

To some, the future consists of pop-up cameras and integrated screens. To Samsung, it’s all about the foldable smartphone. Despite other conflicting rumors, Samsung’s (and hopefully, the world’s first) foldable phone is the brand’s most substantive plan to date.


Rumored for months, the plan ran through the entire gamut of patents, leaks, and speculations. From recent news, the company has confirmed the eventual foldable smartphone. According to reports, the phone will launch sometime next year.

However, a recent tweet narrows this timeframe even further. Straight from the horse’s mouth, Samsung has announced its next event on Twitter.

Subtitled “Where Now Meets Next,” the upcoming Samsung Developer Conference 2018 will open from November 7 to 8 this year. Right now, the event’s website advertises developments in Bixby, gaming, and augmented reality technologies. Additionally, Samsung President and CEO DJ Koh will head the program’s keynote presentation.

However, the teaser video includes a curious icon — a single guillemet unfolding into a straight line. Put more plainly, the symbol resembles the potential unfolding motion of a foldable smartphone.

Across the ages, Samsung has always imbued its symbols with design-centric meaning. The symbol’s inclusion is far from mere coincidence. In fact, the conference is the perfect venue for the technology’s debut. In the past, Samsung has used the event to promote the company’s more technical advancements.

Besides that, an announcement at this event coincides with a probable launch next year. Based on another report, the phone will launch shortly after the Galaxy S10 series. If the technology makes an appearance in November, the actual phone can debut around MWC Barcelona next year.

SEE ALSO: Samsung patents the world’s first all-screen fingerprint sensor

Apps

Netflix is testing a new mobile-only subscription in Asia

Might cost less than PhP 200

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By now, subscription services have slowly taken over our monthly budgets. Cable hookups, premium Spotify accounts, Netflix subscriptions, gym memberships — it never stops. Unfortunately, the world is moving from single-purchase models into monthly renewals. Don’t you just wish for a better bang for your buck?

Netflix is currently testing a more flexible pricing scheme in select territories. In India, the streaming company has introduced a mobile-only subscription plan worth half the price of the basic plan. India’s basic plan — one screen, standard definition — costs INR 500 (around US$ 7.23). Meanwhile, the mobile-only plan costs only INR 250 (around US$ 3.61).


In an interview with Variety, a Netflix spokesperson confirmed the possible options “where members can, for example, watch Netflix on their mobile device for a lower price and subscribe in shorter increments of time.”

Currently, all of Netflix plans are measured in months. Based on the statement, Netflix is potentially exploring weekly plans, besides a medium-oriented plan.

In terms of location, Netflix has trialed this new pricing scheme in Malaysia and India. Unfortunately, the company has not confirmed other territories for the future. However, given the location of the first two tests, the company will likely implement the scheme in mobile-centric countries in the Asian region. Currently, India is one of Asia’s hotspots for smartphone technology.

Given the trend, the Philippines will likely join India and Malaysia in the future. The country is also a developing hotspot for smartphones. As such, a Netflix mobile-only plan will likely find a lot of supporters in the country. For reference, the mobile-only plan will probably cost PhP 185 (half of the basic PhP 370 plan).

Of course, the only remaining problem will be the country’s abysmal data coverage.

SEE ALSO: Netflix knows what you want and lets you watch without buffering

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Gaming

You may not be able to play PUBG for more than 6 hours in a day

Still better than banning the game completely

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Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds mobile edition needs no introduction. It has been the most trending multiplayer game for the last year and the trend shows no sign of cooling down. The game has been a hit in countries like India and players are hooked on it for hours.

Though, the game has received intense scrutiny from authorities because of its addictive stance. There have been multiple reports of addiction death and authorities have been scrambling to ban the game. Parents are worried about their children not being able to concentrate on studies and educational institutes have reported lower attendance as well as poor academic performance.


To counter bans and indirectly help players avoid addiction, PUBG is testing a six-hour per day gameplay limit. According to SportsKeeda, the app is sending a health reminder to players after six hours of gameplay and asking them to take a break. The game also has an age verification request now, which asks players if they are over the age of 18.

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The new limit isn’t active for all users right now and is currently in a testing phase. While some users are reporting seeing the message after two to four hours of gaming, some are being locked out after six hours of usage. It seems only players in India are seeing this at the moment and other regions haven’t been affected.

This restriction comes after the game was banned in Gujarat and multiple arrests were made by the police. The Chinese government recently banned PUBG Mobile for players under the age of 13.

There is no official word from PUBG Mobile on this health reminder-based daily gameplay limit yet. The addition may irk some users, but it’s the first step towards ensuring the game isn’t outright banned.

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Enterprise

Huawei executive caught using Apple products

Owned a Huawei Mate 20 RS, though

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Just like its competitors, Huawei is an intensely competitive smartphone brand. In the past, the company has thrown a lot of shade against its market rivals. The most notable recipient, however, is Apple. Huawei has even punished its employees for using Apple’s products. Not for nothing, the Chinese company has since overtaken Apple in the standings.

Given Huawei’s competitive nature, it would be ironic if the company’s head honchos were using a competitor’s products. Funny enough, that’s what happened.


Late last year, Huawei’s chief finance officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada for illegal business practices. Since then, the Huawei heir languished in house arrest. Her extradition remained in a state of uncertainty.

However, a recent court filing has revealed more information about the arrest. According to the report, Canadian authorities seized a curious number of Apple products. Meng was using an iPhone 7 Plus, a MacBook Air, and an iPad Pro. In her defense, she also carried one Huawei phone — the Huawei Mate 20 RS Porsche Design.

Because of the seizure, Meng’s lawyers requested authorities for a copy of the data. They also asked for the devices to be sealed. Canada has since agreed to the request.

Regardless, Meng’s ownership of a mainly Apple ecosystem is an ironic fact amid the company’s geopolitical troubles. If anything, it’s a refreshing break from the usual strife that Huawei has gotten into over the past year.

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