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Facebook is making its own operating system to free itself from Google's shackles – TechRadar India

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Facebook wants its own mobile operating system so hardware like its Oculus VR headsets isn’t tied down by the limitations of Android.

As reported by The Information, Facebook wants its own platform to avoid other companies throwing its plans off course, whether it’s built in-house or in partnership with another developer.

“We really want to make sure the next generation has space for us,” said Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s vice president of hardware, Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth. “We don’t think we can trust the marketplace or competitors to ensure that’s the case. And so we’re gonna do it ourselves.”

The company told TechCrunch that it’s particularly interested in developing augmented reality glasses, and is exploring all options to make it a possibility on its own terms.

If at first you don’t succeed…

This isn’t the first time Facebook has considered creating its own operating system. Back in 2013, one of the company’s senior developers revealed that it had considered developing an OS for Facebook Home – a project that replaced your phone’s usual home screen with something based around social features.

Facebook considered building an OS from scratch or creating an Android fork before settling on an interface layer that sat on top of Android and simply changed its regular interface. The app received negative reviews, and was abandoned within months of its release.

“The OS path was the least fleshed-out of the paths,” director of mobile engineering Cory Ondrejka said. 

“Mark [Zuckerberg] talked on launch day that he wanted to build something for everyone. It’s hard to get to the type of scale that’s necessary for us [when building an OS]. We wanted Home in front of hundreds of millions of people – even a successful OS would only give that experience to a few of them.”

However, now that Facebook has extended its reach beyond phones to other hardware, it makes sense for it to revisit the idea.

Facebook has no plans to end development of its iOS and Android apps, but it’ll be interesting to see where this new project leads and whether its new direction proves more successful than Facebook Home.

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Videotron offers 55-inch TV with Samsung phones and all-inclusive plans – MobileSyrup

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To celebrate Vidéotron’s 10th anniversary in the mobile space, the company is offering customers that purchase an all-inclusive plan with a Samsung Galaxy Device a free 4K UHD TV.

These two-year all-inclusive plans start at 11GB per month for $7 but also come with bonus annual data of 100GB per year.

This promotion works for new customers or those who renew their subscription. The deal is also available if you grab a Canada-U.S. without borders plans that start at $70 per month.

The devices available with this promotional are the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G, Z Flip 4G, Note 20 Ultra, S20 Ultra, S20+, S20, Note 10+, S10+, S10, S10e, A71 and A51,

The free television is a 55-inch 4K UHD Tizen Smart TV UN55TU8500 that typically costs $849.99.

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Minor Google Pay app redesign rolling out now – MobileSyrup

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Google has launched a minor redesign of the Google Pay app that’s a step backwards compared to other recently updated Google apps.

The new design stashes all the sections in a side menu, which is odd since apps like Google Photos recently moved towards displaying everything in a bottom bar to get rid of the side menu. The old version of Google Pay, which you can look at here, used the bottom bar method effectively, so it’s unclear why Google choose to change it.

For the most part, the new design is pretty non-offensive. It combines your passes and loyalty cards like PC Optimum or insurance cards with your selected payment method on the main screen. While this might make this feature a little more convenient, it’s still not a good update.

The new side menu, and what happens when you tap on a payment card and the new home screen (in that order).

With the new Android 11 power menu that surfaces your contactless payment card options, you already have quick access to your credit and debit cards. Not to mention, it would make more sense for this menu to show your loyalty cards as well so they could easily get scanned at checkout. It’s just weird that Google decided to update the app with all these functions when it’s put so much work into Android 11 to make it, so users don’t need to open the actual Google Pay app often.

This new update puts the Google Pay app more or less on par with Apple’s Wallet app, but without the quick access shortcut that the Cupertino tech giant has in the iOS Control Center. That said, you could argue that the ‘View All’ option buried within a three-dot menu in the new power button menu is this shortcut on Android. However, the fact that it’s hidden in a menu makes it a little more of a hassle than a floating action button styled button.

In the end, I don’t have anything against the new main screen layout, but I don’t understand why Google didn’t leave the bottom bar with some of the more complex options.

Via: 9to5Google

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Here's what to check out on the new Apple Watch 6 | Venture – Daily Hive

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Apple officially unveiled its latest products and software this week, and it included the new Apple Watch 6.

While those looking for the new iPhone announcement may have to wait a little longer, for now, the watch offers new features and designs for Apple fans.

But Apple didn’t just introduce one watch, but two. Besides the Apple Watch Series 6, described as the most advanced watch we’ve ever built and adds breakthrough wellness technology,” the new Apple Watch SE was also announced.

It is the tech company’s first-time user-friendly option, available at a lower cost than the Series 6.

With the big release day upon us, here’s what to check out on the Apple Watch Series 6.

Blood Oxygen

Courtesy of Apple

First things first, probably the most exciting portion of Tuesday’s unveiling was the Blood Oxygen app on the watch. While wearing the Apple Watch, the user simply has to hold their wrist flat and still, with the display facing up. Within 15 seconds, your oxygen saturation is measured, and this — according to Apple — indicates how well your lugs and circulatory system are delivering oxygenated blood to your body. But note, the app does say “Blood Oxygen measurements are not intended for medical use.”

And in case you’re wondering, most people have a 95-100% blood oxygen level.

ECG app

The EGC app is only available on the Apple Watch Series 6, and generates an electrocardiogram, or ECG, right on your wrist. What the app does is it records the timing and strength of the electric signals that make heart beats, and it does it in 30 seconds. You can see the process as it takes place, then the app will indicate of your heart is beating in a normal pattern.

Like the Blood Oxygen app, note that Apple says the watch “cannot check for signs of a heart attack.”

Hand washing

Yes, this is a thing, because it’s the COVID-19 era.

The new Apple Watch as a built-in sensor that can tell when you’ve started washing your hands. If the notifications and timer are activated, it will start a 20-second timer, which is health officials’ recommended time to spend on washing your hands.

You can also set a reminder to wash your hands when you get home.

Sleep

Also very applicable to the COVID-19 era, and beyond, is the new Sleep function on watchOS 7. Built in the watch, this allows you to track your sleep, set your goals, and alarms, all on your wrist. The alarm function buzzes lightly before gently waking you up, and as you sleep, the watch display is dimmed.

New colours and bands

Apple Watch Series 6 Aluminum Red/ Apple

For those looking to personalize their watches, Apple has released new colours including Blue and (PRODUCT)RED Aluminum, as well as Graphite and Gold
Stainless Steel. Besides the watch itself, there is a new band in town… literally.

The “Solo Loop” bands were introduced this week, and you need to check this out if you are using the claspy ones. The “Solo Loop” is a smooth, super comfortable watch that stretches to fit the wrist, and it comes in nine different sizes.

Always-On Retina display

Always-on Retina display/ Courtesy of Apple

Compared to the Series 5 watch, the new Always-on Retina display is 2.5 times brighter when your wrist is down, which also helps to see while outside on a sunny day, for example.

Better performance

According to Apple, the new S6 System-in-Package (SiP) is their most powerful one yet, and for those who have had other watches it shows. The new Series 6 is up to 20% faster than the Series 5.

As for what else is coming this year, Apple has announced Fitness+, which will be available late 2020. They say it’s an experience built around the Apple Watch, and will offer workouts to help users stay active.

As well, Family Setup will be available, which will allow an adult to pair their watch with their child’s.

The Apple Watch SE starts at $369 in Canada. As for the Apple Watch Series 6, it starts at $529.

Both are available as of September 18.

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