News

After the long wait, Xiaomi is finally giving MIUI an app drawer

This is long overdue!

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Xiaomi Mi 9 SE | Image credit: GadgetMatch

One of the notable features of the Android operating system is the app drawer. Since Google introduced the Android OS to the world, the app drawer has always been present. However, phone manufacturers customize the OS according to their liking.

Chinese brands are known culprits of omitting the app drawer to make their interface similar to Apple’s iOS. Some have already embraced the app drawer (thankfully!) and Xiaomi is just about to join the gang.


The app drawer is not exactly a major feature, but it’s something that people want. Which is why Xiaomi is finally adding an app drawer to MIUI. Better late than never, right?

Image credit: XDA Developers

With the latest alpha build of the MIUI launcher version number 4.10.6.1025-06141703, Xiaomi phones will finally get an app drawer. Based on the screenshots obtained by XDA Developers, it appears that the app drawer is accessible by tapping on the middle button. So far, there’s no swipe up gesture option.

Apart from the app drawer, MIUI will also soon have app shortcuts. These feature has been around since Android 7.1 Nougat and it’s accessed by long pressing an app icon.

Since this new version of MIUI is still in the alpha stage of development, nothing is final and stable. Also, it might take a few weeks or months before it rolls out to Xiaomi phones.

It’s quite surprising how long it took for Xiaomi to make this happen. Xiaomi’s bang-for-the-buck Pocophone F1 launched with an app drawer thanks to its special Poco Launcher. The launcher is based on MIUI; moreover, you can easily download the Poco Launcher from the Play Store.

If you have a Xiaomi phone and want to have an app drawer immediately, I strongly suggest downloading the Poco Launcher while you wait for the official MIUI version to come as an update. Those who feel adventurous can try out the MIUI Launcher alpha here, but it could be really buggy.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi unveils Mi Band 4 with a colored display and 20-day battery life

India

Chandrayaan-2 is India’s ambitious project to explore the Moon

Only the US, China, and Russia have achieved this so far

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Fifty years back the United States became the first country to send man to the Moon. Since then, many countries like the former-Soviet Union, China, and the EU have tried to accomplish similar feats. Thanks to advancing technology, we no longer need to send humans to the Moon for exploration. Rovers and satellites have sufficient capabilities to explore the surface and all operations can be handled remotely.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been at the cutting edge of technology and managed to make huge strides in space exploration. The agency is India’s backbone for sending satellites and has a spectacular track record of successful launches. Their first mission to the Moon was Chandrayaan-1 and it was launched in 2008. The spacecraft was able to complete 95 percent of its objectives before a connection was lost and it crashed on the Moon’s surface.


Now, India is back with a new project called the Chandrayaan-2. Chandra means Moon in Sanskrit and Yaan means a vehicle, the project marks the entry of the developing country in an elite club of nations with similar space exploration capabilities. In fact, the mission has cost just INR 1,000 crores, equivalent to US$ 145 million. For comparison, a single Transformer movie costs upwards of US$ 200 million.

ISRO

This cost-effective method of research and development gives India a unique edge. The Chandrayaan-2 intends to do a soft-landing on the surface of the Moon. So far, only the US, China, and Russia have been able to master soft landings and India aims to join the list.

The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft consists of an orbiter named Vikram and a moon rover called Pragyaan. The landing module sits on top of the rocket and is covered in a composite golden film to protect the components from extreme temperatures. The surface rover is safely tucked inside the lander and shall come down a ramp once the soft-landing is complete.

ISRO

Propelling the spacecraft is a GSLV Mk 3 rocket (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) that’s 44 meters tall and weighs 640 tons. After separation, the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft will travel 3.84 lakh kilometers and near the South Pole of the Moon, a region which hasn’t been fully explored by humans yet.

The mission was supposed to launch in the early hours of July 16 but a last moment technical snag in the rocket delayed the launch. Now, ISRO has announced Chandrayaan-2 will be launched on July 22 at 2.43 p.m. from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The country also plans to send a manned mission to the Moon in the coming years and has tied up with multiple international companies for transfer of technology.

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Automotive

You might soon have a pickup truck emoji thanks to Ford

Because it’s 🌏 Emoji Day

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Let’s admit it, not a day goes by without us sending out emoji to our family and friends. We all have our favorites, too — from Apple’s pleading face to the pinching hand emoji. But other users noticed there’s something else missing: the pickup truck emoji.

And who would have the authority to propose one but the truck specialist themselves? Ford submitted a proposal to the Unicode Consortium (which is the organization that reviews and approves proposals for new emoji) back in 2018 to include the pickup truck emoji. After some time, it has now been short-listed as a candidate for inclusion in the future.


“Given the F-series’ status as America’s best-selling truck for 42 consecutive years, there’s no one better than Ford to help bring an all-new pickup truck emoji to hard-working texters around the globe,” said Todd Eckert, Ford truck group marketing manager.

If the emoji is indeed approved by early 2020, the design will be customized for all mobile platforms and you can just send a pickup emoji whenever you need a pickup. 😉

 

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News

A Galaxy S8 saved tourists from drowning in Cebu

Phone survived 30 minutes underwater

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A smartphone is more than just a fancy device. Today, mobile technology carries so many features and packs so much durability. In the right situation, a smartphone can save lives. In the face of impending disaster, your favorite device should be in your handbag at all costs.

Case in point, a smartphone recently saved several divers in Cebu. As reported locally, the boat capsized near Bogo City. Coming from Malapascua Island, it was transporting local and foreign divers to a diving spot nearby. Before it could reach safety, the boat sank. Thankfully, emergency responders quickly acted on a call for help. All crew members and passengers were saved.


Recently, Samsung revealed a deeper story surrounding the event. According to a press release, the divers’ emergency call originated from a Galaxy S8. Thirty minutes after the incident, Jim Emdee, one of the passengers, found his smartphone submerged in seawater. To his surprise, the smartphone still worked. He made the call, alerting responders to their position.

“I really hope my [thank you] can make it to the engineering team as honestly it really saved us all. Only my S8 was able to connect… and worked all the way until we made it to land. It stayed alive for much longer than I thought possible and it really made the difference,” he said.

The Galaxy S8 sports IP68 water resistance. Typically, it can survive five feet underwater for up to 30 minutes. Besides increased durability, the smartphone also carries emergency software features. For example, Samsung 321 can quickly contact emergency services in dire situations. It can also automatically send SOS messages smoothly with just a few button presses.

At this age, knowing your smartphone’s emergency features is a necessity. You’ll never know when you might need them.

SEE ALSO: Android Oreo update for Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ resumes

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