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Recent headlines | Google reveals some more features of Android N

AfterDawn > News > News

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 May 2016 0:04

Google reveals some more features of Android N Google used their developer conference to show off some new feature for the upcoming Android N operating system.

The company released a developer preview earlier this year and has been furiously updating since, significantly improving the graphics and runtime. Google says the compiler for Android N is up to 75 percent faster than previous operating systems, and Google also notes that the space required for app installations has been reduced significantly, as well.

In the multitasking menu, Google will cap the visible windows at just 7 (thank you, Google) and there will now be a "Clear All" button to dismiss all your active apps at once rather than sliding manually.

Google has also promised split-screen and picture-in-picture modes, allowing you to slide videos to the corner while you write your emails, for example. This will make your Android tablet more useful certainly, but it probably won't be too effective on your phone.

Most notable, however, is the addition of a VR Mode as part of the larger Google "Daydream" VR project. Google also has content partnerships with HBO, Netflix, Hulu, CNN, the NBA, the Wall Street Journal, IMAX and the New York Times.

Expect Android N "later this summer."

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Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 May 2016 23:04

Microsoft sells its entry-level feature phone business to Foxconn Microsoft has announced that it is selling their entry level feature phone assets to Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile for 0 million.

Additionally, FIH Mobile has also acquired Microsoft Mobile Vietnam, the company's manufacturing facility in Hanoi.

When the deal closes, 4500 employees will have the opportunity to transfer to the new company.

Microsoft says it will continue to support Lumia phones and support Windows 10 Mobile moving forward even though the company has not released a new device in months.

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Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 May 2016 22:34

Tor software developer jumps the U.S. to Germany following FBI investigation The FBI has been trying to subpoena one of Tor's core software developers to testify in a federal hacking investigation, but the developer Isis Lovecruft has left the U.S. for Germany.

Lovecruft says she fears that the FBI will force or coerce her into undermining the Tor network, thus exposing Tor users who legitimately use the network to protect their identities. "I was worried they'd ask me to do something that hurts innocent people -- and prevent me from telling people it's happening," she added.

Reportedly, FBI Special Agent Mark W. Burnett left a card for Lovecruft at her parent's home while she was on vacation and the agency then refused to talk to her with her attorney present. Lovecruft then began to fear what the FBI wanted with her knowledge of Tor's inner workings: "That would undermine all the work that we do to protect human rights activists, women researching birth control... all these people need privacy. They need what Tor provides," she said. "I would not undermine that."

Lovecruft then flew to Germany, where she had been planning to move in the future and now expects to stay. She still doesn't have an official word from the FBI on what they need from her. "I don't know what they want. I don't know what happens to me if I go back."

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Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 May 2016 21:53

Amazon adds voice-controlled 'Alexa' features to Fire TV set-top Amazon has added "Alexa" features to its popular Fire TV ser-top box, giving users the ability to launch apps, movies, shows and more using the Alexa voice-activated personal assistant.

"Customers have told us they love having the convenience of Alexa on their Amazon Fire TV,"
said Tim Twerdahl, General Manager, Amazon Fire TV. "We're excited to add new Alexa features to Fire TV, making it easier than ever to enjoy their favorite TV shows, movies, and apps."

Amazon says Fire TV owners now have the "ability to control playback of Amazon Video and Add-On Subscription content, launch apps, access local movie show times, search local businesses and restaurants, and more--all just by using your voice."

Voice search has also been integrated throughout all of Amazon's "59 content partners including Hulu, Showtime, Starz, HBO Go and more."

Fire TV owners can expect the OTA update in the coming weeks.

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Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 18 May 2016 5:45

Confirmed: Nokia's brand returns to mobile phone businessNokia announced that it has licensed its brand exclusively for next 10 years to be used in mobile phones and tablets, globally, by HMD Global Oy.

HMD Global is a recently founded company with its sole purpose to use Nokia's brand in mobile phones and tablets. HMD will pay Nokia royalties and license fees for every device sold under Nokia brand. Company has also made an offer for Microsoft to sub-license Microsoft's current rights to use Nokia in cheap, basic functionality phones. The offer for basic phone brand licensing is expected to happe in H2, 2016.

If these deals both emerge, HMD would be the sole company allowed to use Nokia's brand in mobile phone and tablet business. HMD plans to invest more that 500 million dollars to marketing and advertising of Nokia-branded devices over the next three years.

"Nokia branded basic phones are still among the most popular phones in several markets. HMD will continue to market these phones as part of its integrated mobile phone portfolio that will also include smartphones and tables", Nokia says.

HMD plans to use Android as its operating system for Nokia-branded smartphones and tablets. Nokia doesn't own shares of HMD, but will receive a seat in HMD's board.



Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 May 2016 0:26

Apple patches iTunes to address random music deletion glitch Apple has updated iTunes this week with an all-new design and a patch for a glitch that was deleting user's music files from their computers.

The problem, although rare, had some devastating consequences for users. One musician reported 122GB of music (including original tracks) disappearing without his permission. Apple responded to the growing amount of complaints, stating: "In an extremely small number of cases users have reported that music files saved on their computer were removed without their permission. We're taking these reports seriously as we know how important music is to our customers and our teams are focused on identifying the cause. We have not been able to reproduce this issue, however, we're releasing an update to iTunes early next week which includes additional safeguards."

iTunes update 12.4 should correct the issue although Apple has confirmed they were not able to reproduce the music deletion glitch during their own internal testing, begging the question of what the patch will actually do.

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Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 May 2016 23:59

SVOD services in EU could be subject to content quotas According to reports, SVOD services operating in the EU including Netflix will likely be subject to European content quotas moving forward.

European Commission VP Andrus Ansip says that there needs to be a more level playing field between the streaming companies and TV providers that have to show a mandated percentage of European-originated programming.

The quota would be for streaming content and for the material marketed on each site's home pages.

It is expected that the European Commission will require at least 20 percent European-originated programming for the SVOD providers.

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Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 May 2016 22:54

Nintendo confirms it's looking to expand video content business, including making movies If we are lucky, there could be movies coming soon featuring Nintendo's legendary characters.

Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima confirmed rumors and says the gaming giant is in talks with production companies to expand their video content business, including the possibility of movies.

"We're talking with various partners. I think we'll be able to decide something in the not-too-distant future," Kimishima said, adding that projects would be slated for the next 1-5 years.

Nintendo has been expanding its operations recently, as console sales for the Wii U have lagged significantly. Nintendo recently expanded into mobile gaming and is working with NBCU to develop theme park attractions.

The last time Nintendo licensed their characters for a live-action film was in 1993 for the historically bad "Super Mario" movie.

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Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 May 2016 0:09

BBC gets green light to start new subscription streaming service The BBC has been given the green light by the British government to start a new subscription streaming service that will rival Netflix in the nation.

Currently, the project is codenamed "Britflix" (we hope that changes eventually) and it is expected to be a collaboration between BBC and commercial rival ITV.

The new service would be delivered through the company's popular iPlayer and besides ITV, NBC Universal and Carnival Films are expected to provide content for the fledgling service.

More to come.

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Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 May 2016 23:30

Amazon to expand private-label brand offerings According to multiple sources, Amazon is looking to expand its private-label brands to include household items and perishable food including nuts, coffee, baby food, and diapers.

The rollout is expected in the coming weeks and will be available to Prime subscribers.

Reportedly, some of the new brands are called Happy Belly, Wickedly Prime, and Mama Bear. Happy Belly will be the brand for nuts, trail mix, teas, and cooking oils and Wickedly Prime will include snack foods. Mama bear will be the brand for baby products like diapers and baby-safe detergent.

Most expect the Amazon brands to undercut major brands in price, and with free Prime shipping, the products could certainly gain a cult following.

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Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 May 2016 23:08

Uber rival Didi denies U.S. IPO Didi Chuxing, China's leading ride-hailing app company, has denied it plans to go public in the U.S. next year.

Multiple sources reported yesterday that the Uber rival was preparing to IPO in the U.S. in the next 18 months following a large fundraising campaign that included Apple's recent billion investment.

"We currently have no IPO plan, so there's no point of talking about location or schedule,"
a spokesperson for Didi said in an announcement today, shutting down any talks of an IPO (for now).

Didi currently leads Uber in China, and the company claims 14 million drivers and 300 million active users. Didi offers taxi service, private cars, bus services and more.

Read more...

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 May 2016 22:53

Twitter will no longer count photos or links in 140-character limit Twitter has finally addressed a long-standing user complaint and will no longer count photos or links as characters against your 140-character limit.

Previously, even shortened links took up as much as 23 characters, leaving even less space for your messages and text.

According to the sources, the change could take place by the end of the month although Twitter has not officially announced it.

The underlying goal appears to be to encourage users to add more media to their posts, especially during live events. Twitter itself has also been pushing for more original video content and having users reshare that content will be paramount.

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Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 May 2016 17:53

Xbox One backwards compatibility now supports multi-disc games Microsoft has confirmed this weekend that the Xbox One's backwards compatibility has now added support for multi-disc games starting with "Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut."

"We know fans were asking for this feature and our engineers worked hard developing a solution to enable it so we could further expand the titles included in Xbox One Backward Compatibility," an Xbox spokesperson said. "We're continuing to listen to our fans on Xbox Feedback and work with our publishing partners to grow out library of Xbox One Backward Compatibility titles and will work to include more multi-disc games."

Earlier in the day, Xbox spokesperson Major Nelson confirmed the news, as well. "I can confirm that the BC team has done work to support multi-disc scenarios," he wrote. "Be sure to thank the BC engineers."

Read more...

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 May 2016 17:37

WhatsApp testing video calling Just two months after launching voice call functionality to the app, WhatsApp now appears to be testing video calling.

The latest beta for Android (v2.16.80) now shows the option for video calls, although the functionality is still not active.

Most likely, the feature will be activated server-side in the next update, or the feature can be rolled out in waves like past features have been including voice calling.

Some lucky users were actually able to complete a call, although it is unclear how. Here is one example:

Read more...

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 May 2016 17:22

Apple iPhone users are increasingly moving towards using Chrome over Safari According to Adobe's Google I/O Digital Index Report, iOS users are increasingly moving from Safari to Chrome for their browsing needs.

"iPhone users have to go out of their way to download the Chrome browser," said Adam Lloyd, an Adobe Digital Index (ADI) analyst. "The fact that people are actually doing so is a sign that Chrome offers an experience consumers are interested in."

After review of 600 billion site visits from mobile devices between January 2015 and March 2016, Chrome usage grew 77 percent year-over-year on Android smartphones and by 20 percent on iPhones.

ADI says users found Chrome but easier to use, and faster, than alternatives.

Read more...


    Older entries  

Actively discussed topics

Apple invests a billion dollars on Uber competitor Apple invests a billion dollars on Uber competitor (13 May 2016 8:18)
Apple has been revealed to have invested a small chunk of its 0 billion bankroll on a transportation company that is one of the main rivals of Uber. Didi Chuxing is essentially the Chinese ....
Uber rival Didi denies U.S. IPO Uber rival Didi denies U.S. IPO (16 May 2016 23:08)
Didi Chuxing, China's leading ride-hailing app company, has denied it plans to go public in the U.S. next year.
Apple iPhone users are increasingly moving towards using Chrome over Safari Apple iPhone users are increasingly moving towards using Chrome over Safari (15 May 2016 17:22)
According to Adobe's Google I/O Digital Index Report, iOS users are increasingly moving from Safari to Chrome for their browsing needs.
Xbox One backwards compatibility now supports multi-disc games Xbox One backwards compatibility now supports multi-disc games (15 May 2016 17:53)
Microsoft has confirmed this weekend that the Xbox One's backwards compatibility has now added support for multi-disc games starting with Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut.
Amazon to expand private-label brand offerings Amazon to expand private-label brand offerings (16 May 2016 23:30)
According to multiple sources, Amazon is looking to expand its private-label brands to include household items and perishable food like nuts, coffee, baby food and diapers.

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