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Xiaomi Mi 8 is company’s newest flagship and it has a notch

Comes with a special variant!

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Xiaomi just wrapped up its annual launch event and the Chinese tech company presented a number of devices. Of course, the star of the show is their new flagship phone: the Mi 8. After months of speculation and rumors, Xiaomi’s new phone is finally official.

The Mi 8 is Xiaomi’s 8th-anniversary phone hence the skip in the numbering scheme and disregard for the number seven. The rumors were true about the Mi 8: It has a notched display, a Snapdragon 845 processor, and 6GB of memory.

The phone’s notched display is a 6.21-inch Super AMOLED panel with a Full HD+ resolution and 18.7:9 aspect ratio. The notch is pretty wide compared to Huawei’s or LG’s but it’s got something similar to the iPhone X. It owns a 20-megapixel AI-powered front camera, sensors, earpiece, and additional infrared lighting and lens to support 3D face scanning. During the launch, Xiaomi simply called it Face ID, which is a straightforward copy from Apple’s book.

Like its predecessor, the Mi 8 also has dual rear cameras. Both have 12-megapixel sensors but with different lens openings: f/1.8 and f/2.4. The main shooter is used for everyday photography and low-light scenes, while the other is for telephoto. AI is also present on the Mi 8’s rear shooters using 4-in-1 pixel binding for better low-light shots.

Xiaomi is proud to brag about the Mi 8’s DxOMark score of 99 points overall. Based on DxOMark’s ranking, the Mi 8 is now the best Xiaomi shooter beating the Mi Mix 2S and is even higher than the iPhone X. The photo category alone is rated at 105.

The rest of the Mi 8’s specs include a USB-C port for audio, charging, and data transfer, dual GPS, rear fingerprint sensor, and the latest MIUI software.

As always, there’s a special variant of the flagship Xiaomi phone. For the Mi 8, Xiaomi is not favoring ceramic bodies anymore because a see-through back panel is now a cooler feature.

Called the Explorer Edition, this Mi 8 variant gives you a peek at the internals of the phone which is pretty sweet. Not only that, it’s also Xiaomi’s first device to have an in-display fingerprint sensor — now that’s special.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 has a starting price of CNY 2,699 (US$ 420) for the base model with 64GB of storage. The 128GB version is priced at CNY 2,999 (US$ 470) while the most expensive version with 256GB storage will go for CNY 3,299 (US$ 515).

The Explorer Edition will have only one variant with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage for CNY 3,799 or roughly US$ 590.

Apps

TikTok, Tencent linked to sexually violent ads on Facebook

Ads continue to run on platform

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Facebook has an ad problem. After spending years on the platform, you might have noticed a plethora of misplaced ads occasionally peppered on your feed. Though most users cringe at how the algorithm can uncannily show appropriate ads right after talking about a certain topic, a series of more off-putting, offensive, and disturbing ads is making the rounds on the social media platform. Now, following a deep dive, a report has found that ByteDance and Tencent are affiliated with the phenomenon.

What are these Facebook ads? In a report from Forbes’s Emily Baker-White, several web novel companies are advertising erotic content on the platform. However, more than just erotica, these ads promote sexual, violence, rape, and self-harm. Some are even using images of popular personalities without their permission.

A particularly egregious example involves a photo of a crying woman in the shower with the caption: “his personal cum bucket.” A few others are more up front about harming women to get sex.

Others depict scenes from Twilight and Star Wars, despite not being affiliated at all with the titles. Several companies and personalities contacted by Forbes confirmed that they did not give these novel apps any permission to use their likeness.

As for the deep dive, a good number of these companies were previously backed by either ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, or Tencent, one of the biggest Chinese companies in the world. While ByteDance has claimed that the apps don’t reflect their values, these ads continue to proliferate around the platform. Tencent has likewise denied any involvement with the campaigns.

It’s also worth nothing that the apps aren’t limited to just China. One app, called Pinky Novel, operates from the Philippines and is spreading similarly troubling ads everywhere, including one that says, “Raped by Mr. CEO.”

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Enterprise

Apple has been raided in South Korea

For alleged anti-market practices

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The troubles for Apple will continue. After spending a length of time fighting investigations all over the world for alleged anti-competition practices, the company’s offices in South Korea have been raided by authorities to further the investigation in the country.

Covered by Foss Patents (via MacRumors), the Korea Fair Trade Commission conducted a raid on the offices at the break of dawn. Authorities reportedly staged the raid after a developer complained of an unfair commission rate. According to the complaint, developers are paying more than 30 percent commission for having their apps on the App Store.

For a rougher breakdown, Apple still charges 30 percent. However, the commission includes VAT, which spikes the total fees paid above 30 percent. In contrast, Google’s 30 percent commission policy does not include VAT, which makes for a lower fee for developers.

With the number of apps on the App Store, Apple is making significant bank by skimming a bit more on commissions. That is, if the allegations prove true, of course. Right now, the company is still under investigation. But, if anything, a dawn raid isn’t a good sign for the iPhone maker.

Apple isn’t the only one in hot water, though. Google is also facing a similar controversy in South Korea. However, instead of the Korea Fair Trade Commission, the Kora Communications Commission is pushing for more parity between Google and Apple.

SEE ALSO: South Korea investigating Apple and Google for app payments

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Android users can react to SMS messages from iPhones soon

While simultaneously annoying iPhone users

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One of the most unexpected small developments this year is the war of the green bubble. For a while now, Apple has kept Android users inside a green text bubble. If an Android user texts an iOS user, an iPhone conveniently lets its user know that someone is texting them from — gasp — an Android phone. Now, Google, in the next step of its crusade against the green bubble, is running a similar experiment of its own.

Recently, as spotted by Reddit user u/Jabjab345 (via GSMArena), Google is testing a new feature for Android users. In a beta version, users can start reacting to SMS messages from an iPhone. Of course, much like how it is from the other way around, there is a little hiccup.

In most web-based messaging services, reactions are often tiny bubbles attached to one corner of the message. However, since iOS and Android use different systems, it doesn’t work that way between the two platforms. Instead, if an iOS user reacts to an Android user’s message, users get a separate message with the emoji reaction. Now (or after the beta, at least), Android will treat iOS in the same way, sending iOS users a separate message for reactions.

Right now, the feature is still in beta. However, an implementation is par for the course. Previously, Google threw some shade at Apple for not adopting the system that the former uses. In retaliation, Tim Cook recently told a user to just buy their mom an iPhone if texting was such an issue.

SEE ALSO: Apple on adopting Android’s features: Just ‘buy your mom an iPhone’

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