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Decade in review: What the smartphone has wrought – Japan Today

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When the first Apple iPhone hit the market in 2007, not everyone was convinced it would supplant the flip-phone. When Google’s Android software system arrived a year later, the Blackberry still seemed to have bright future.

But with the iPhone 4 in 2010, featuring a high-resolution display, sleek design and front-facing camera, our collective fate was sealed. Here are 10 ways the smartphone has made its mark over the decade.

Access everywhere

Today some 5 billion smartphones are in use around the world, according to Canalysis Research. The total number of internet subscriptions has soared to 7.2 billion globally from 1.3 billion in 2010, the vast majority of them mobile subscriptions, International Telecommunications Union data shows. The explosion in connectivity has been especially dramatic in the developing world, where there are now more mobile connections than people.

Tech uber alles

Apple Inc, once a niche computer company, is now one of the world’s most valuable companies thanks to the iPhone. The five largest Fortune 500 technology companies – Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Facebook – currently boast a market cap of $4.7 trillion, compared with about $800 billion for the top five in 2010. Not all of that is due to the smartphone, of course, but the mobile-related technologies and services accounted for nearly$4 trillion in economic activity in 2018, according to trade group GSMA.

There’s an app for that

Whether we’re hailing a cab, ordering food, playing a game, finding a date, listening to music or shopping for just about anything, there’s a good chance we’ll be doing it with a smartphone app that didn’t exist in 2010. Many of most popular apps are free, but consumers are still expected to spend more than $120 billion in app stores during 2019, according to App Annie, a mobile apps analytics firm.

Feed me

The endless scroll on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media apps now consumes 34 minutes of every U.S. adult’s day, according to Nielsen. Fewer people are sitting on the sofa to watch live TV at set times, and advertisers are following. Mobile ad spending surpassed TV for the first time in 2018 in terms of percentage share of the U.S. market, according to research firm eMarketer. We can also thank the smartphone for Instagram influencers, “sextortion,” and fake news.

Smile for the (smartphone) camera

Global shipments of digital cameras dropped from their 2010 peak of 121 million to just 19 million units in 2018, according to the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA). Meantime the latest phones pack as many four camera lenses and cutting edge software that makes it easier than ever to get that perfect shot. The front-facing camera might be the busiest: Google reports that its Android devices take 93 million selfies every day.

Where am I?

The satellite tracking technology known as GPS, combined with information from cell towers and Wi-Fi networks, has made the smartphones incredibly powerful tracking devices. Google maps and its poorer cousins enable even the most directionally impaired find their way around unfamiliar locales with ease.

For the privacy-minded, though, it’s a disaster: Phone companies and app makers routinely record the movements of subscribers and sell that data to advertisers, a $20 billion-a-year business. The data is “anonymized,” but as numerous studies and a recent New York Times investigation have revealed it is often a simple matter to identify who is behind the dot on the map. Nearly 50 percent of companies surveyed by Verizon this year used or planned to soon use smartphone management tools to track their employees.

You can look it up

The 2010 edition of the venerable Encyclopedia Britannica, all 32 volumes and 129 pounds of it, turned out to be the last. But untold barroom arguments or dining room debates can now be settled on the spot: Wikipedia is consulted more than 240 million times daily.

Distracting ourselves to death

In 2018 alone in the United States, 2,628 fatal crashes involved a distracted driver, and of those deadly crashes, about 13% involved mobile phone use, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Forget your wallet

Apple Pay and Google Pay are still afterthoughts for most U.S. consumers, but China may be a harbinger. Alipay and WeChat pay, China’s two big smartphone payment services, have reached a combined adoption rate of over 80% since they were launched around the beginning of the decade, according to a study by Bain. The QR code now peppers storefront windows. Even streetside beggars have adapted, sometimes rejecting cash and asking that payments be made via WeChat Pay or Alipay.

Say what?

Among the major casualties of the smartphone era is the conventional phone call itself: ubiquitous messaging apps have helped make video calls, GIFs, emojis and audio messaging preferred modes of communication. In the UK, for example, the total number of minutes spent on voice calls fell from 254 billion in 2013 to 206 billion in 2018, and the number of text messages dropped from 129 billion to 74 billion over the same period, according to Ofcom. Mobile data usage, meanwhile, jumped almost nine-fold between 2013 and 2018. The number of available emojis has nearly tripled to almost 3,000 since 2010.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

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MDA gets $35.3 million contract from Canadian Space Agency for Canadarm 3 components – CTV News

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The Canadian Space Agency has awarded a contract worth $35.3 million to MDA Ltd. to design a key component of Canadarm 3.

The funds will be used to design Gateway External Robotics Interfaces or grapple fixtures for Canadarm 3, which is Canada’s contribution to the United States-led Lunar Gateway, a small space station that will orbit the moon.

The contract is a follow-on to the first phase of interface work awarded in August 2019. A construction phase will likely be awarded in about a year.

The first elements of Gateway will launch in 2024, with Canadarm 3 scheduled to launch two years later.

The contract is the third awarded to MDA for the multi-phase Canadarm 3 program valued at more than $1 billion.

Canadarm flew on 90 space shuttle missions after debuting in 1981. Canadarm 2 has been operating on the International Space Station for more than 20 years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 26, 2021.

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Motorola's next Edge flagship phone might drop the curved display – Yahoo Canada Shine On

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Motorola might soon release a sequel to its flagship Edge phones — albeit without their signature feature. OnLeaks and Pricebaba have shared what they say are CAD-based renders of the standard Edge 20, and Motorola appears to have dropped the highly curved “endless” display in favor of a 6.7-inch flat screen. It would be just another phone on the outside, even if the 120Hz,1080p panel could make it feel extra-responsive.

You’d also get a triple rear camera system that reportedly includes a 108MP primary sensor, a 16MP secondary cam and an 8MP tertiary sensor (likely for telephoto and wide-angle shots). This regular Edge 20 model would be an upper mid-tier device on the inside between a Snapdragon 778G chip, up to 8GB of RAM, a peak 256GB of storage and a 4,000mAh battery.

There is a chance the rumored Edge 20 Pro would keep the curved screen, and it might offer improved performance from the Snapdragon 870. An Edge 20 Lite is supposedly in the works as well. If Motorola does use this design for the mainstream Edge 20, though, it signals a change of tack. Rather than relying on an eye-catching (if somewhat impractical) design for the entire Edge line, it would focus on delivering value for the money. It’s just a question of whether or not the price will be low enough to draw you away from rivals.

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Oppo Watch 2 leaks ahead of July 27 launch, but will it get the new Wear OS 3? – Android Authority

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Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • Renders of the Oppo Watch 2 have leaked.
  • Successor to the Wear OS-powered Oppo Watch, the new wearable will launch on July 27.

In the four images of the Oppo Watch 2 leaked by Blass, we see a square-shaped device that looks akin to its predecessor. It’s got two buttons on the right side and the renders depict blue, red, and black colorways for the straps.

One of the leaked images of the Oppo Watch 2 shows that it’ll have the ability to receive calls, something we also saw on the original Oppo Watch. A retail listing of the smartwatch on China’s JD.com confirms that it’ll feature eSIM support in its home market. This was also the case with the previous Oppo Watch. However, it remains to be seen if the second-gen Oppo Watch will come with eSIM capabilities globally.

Meanwhile, another render of the Oppo Watch 2 shows map directions on display. This suggests the device could come with built-in GPS like the first-gen Oppo Watch.

Oppo Watch 2 specs

Under the hood, the Oppo Watch 2 could be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 Plus SoC coupled with the Ambiq Apollo 4s coprocessor. The second chip is expected to help the smartwatch run a low-powered RTOS in addition to the main operating system.

As for the latter, it’s unclear if the Oppo Watch 2 will feature Wear OS this time around. With the Snapdragon 4100 Plus at its core, the wearable should technically be able to run Google’s new Wear OS 3. However, Google recently shared a list of current and future supported devices for the software and the Oppo Watch 2 wasn’t on it. That said, things could change by the time the Oppo Watch 2 steps out of China.

Elsewhere, the Oppo Watch 2 is rumored to have seven models divided into 42mm and 46mm sizes. It might get 16GB of storage, up from 8GB on the current model. It is also tipped to feature stress detection, remote camera control, a tweaked UI, and a new Relax app. However, these findings only pertain to the Chinese model of the smartwatch.

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