Phones with updated camera tech, huge batteries and new designs may be the focus, but Samsung is rumored to have more than handsets. Hardware like the Galaxy Buds Plus and Galaxy Home Mini, and software announcements that could include a feature similar to Apple’s AirDrop file transfer service are high on the list.
The timing couldn’t be more crucial. Samsung has intentionally decided to host its enormous production days before journalists planned flock to Mobile World Congress, the mega phone show that takes place in Barcelona each year. However, concerns over the spread of coronavirus 2019-nCoV have seen tech companies scale back or altogether cancel their appearance at the show. That could potentially delay plans for Samsung’s rivals, giving the company a chance advantage over rival brands with ambitious 5G and foldable phones plans — Motorola, Huawei, TCL, Vivo and Xiaomi.
Read on for everything we expect to see.
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Galaxy S20 leaks continue, forget about a Twitter edit…
Galaxy S20, and what happened to the Galaxy S11?
Samsung’s trio of flagship phones for 2020 is well documented, at least in leaked renders and rumor upon rumor. If those details are correct, we’re looking at 5G phones with 120Hz screens and major camera improvements. We may even see the Ultra’s main camera hit 108 megapixels, which is enormous.
Even if you don’t dig into the rumors, expect for the Galaxy S20 to be a leap forward over the incremental Galaxy S10. We should see Samsung going bigger and bolder with its first 5G phones, with a premium price to match. That said, the “standard” S20 is expected to be the most affordable of the bunch, following Apple’s model with the iPhone 11. Expect competitive pricing there.
And if you’re wondering why Samsung might be moving away from Galaxy S11 as the successor to last year’s Galaxy S10 and picking a brand new name, I have some theories. And opinions.
Galaxy Z Flip
That Samsung is making a second, simpler foldable phone that folds vertically is fact. What’s strongly rumored is that this device is called the Galaxy Z Flip and that it will be the first foldable phone to ever use a bendable glass screen. This enormous breakthrough would undeniably put Samsung in the lead.
Foldable glass could potentially transform this new phone design from a crazy futuristic fantasy into a viable and completely different way to use our phones. There’s even talk of a foldable phone screen made out of diamonds. But even if the Galaxy Z Flip does come with a glass screen that bends in half, there’s still a lot of testing to do to see just how strong or fragile it is.
Cracking, breaking, shattering and scratching are problems for today’s chemically strengthened Gorilla Glass screens. Ultrathin glass may be prone to damage, too. Expect discussions of screen strength to dominate conversations around this phone, which is anticipated to be a cheaper alternative to the luxury Galaxy Fold.
A new Galaxy Tab S6 5G tablet would be the most likely surprise, though a new Galaxy Fit or Galaxy Watch would be great to see, especially at a time when an appreciation of built-in health and wellness features are on the rise. It hasn’t quite been six months since Samsung announced the Watch Active 2 last August, so it’s tough to say for certain what the company would or wouldn’t do.
Samsung’s rumored Apple AirDrop rival called Quick Share
I’m extremely hopeful that Samsung will be the one to bring Android phones the ease and simple joy of sharing files to another device. Apple’s feature for this, called AirDrop, is one of the top benefits I miss the most when I’m not using an iPhone, especially when moving photos from the phone to my laptop.
Samsung’s take, said to be called Quick Share, could share photos, videos and other files among “supported Samsung devices.” Reading between the lines, there may be some limits within Samsung’s ecosystem. We’ll find out.
New Bixby voice assistant smarts
Samsung may have made it possible to reprogram the Bixby button so you’re not forced to interact with its digital assistant, but that doesn’t mean it’s given up on Bixby entirely. We could see new commands and capabilities for the phones, or for Samsung’s SmartThings hub for the home.
If there are two things you can count on seeing at a Samsung event, it’s a slew of new cases and a fresh wireless charging pad. I’m looking forward to seeing cases for the Galaxy Z Flip, which will probably be a two-piecer as for the Galaxy Fold. Fingers crossed for a faster wireless charging pad in addition to the high-capacity fast chargers (25- to 45-watt) that come with the Galaxy S20 trio.
Originally published earlier this week.
Originally published last month and updated with new information.
After months of heavy leaks, Samsung’s next foldable phone — Galaxy Z Fold 4 — is finally official. While not a massive upgrade over its predecessor Galaxy Z Fold 3, the new model does bring several notable improvements, making the Galaxy Z Fold 4 Samsung’s most refined foldable yet. The hinge is more compact, ergonomics have improved, cameras and chipset have been upgraded, and there are some new software updates to improve the multitasking experience. In addition, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 also boasts support for all global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), enabling precise location tracking no matter where you are.
GPS support on the Galaxy Z Fold 4
In particular, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 supports four navigation systems, namely, GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, and BeiDou. GPS is short for Global Positioning System, and it’s owned by the United States. GLONASS is a Russian navigation system, while Galileo is operated by European Union Agency. Finally, BeiDou is a Chinese satellite navigation system.
Support for multiple navigation systems means the Galaxy Z Fold 4 can access more satellite signals to calculate its positioning. This translates to increased location accuracy and a faster fix. You can use an app like GPSTest to see in real-time which Global Navigation satellite systems are being used by your phone for positioning. As a consumer, you probably don’t need to worry about any of these details. Just know that your Galaxy Z Fold 4 has everything to offer a smooth navigation experience when using Google Maps, booking an Uber, or any app that relies on precise location tracking.
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 supports four global navigation systems, including GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BeiDou.
Location services are notorious battery hogs, so be sure to keep tabs on apps with location access. Ideally, you only want to grant full location access to critical apps — Google Maps and ride apps, for example. In other cases, take advantage of Android’s one-time permission to only grant temporary location access to an app.
Apple is about to embark on a bold new strategy that will see it displaying adverts on preloaded iPhone apps, according to a new report. As it looks to make more money from services, the iPhone maker is aiming to triple the revenue of its ads business, according to Apple commentator Mark Gurman’s Power On newsletter.
According to Gurman, Apple’s VP of advertising platforms Todd Teresi has been asked to bolster annual revenue into “double digits” from about $4 billion today. The iPhone maker has been testing search ads in maps already, which could show up with places to eat, for example, when you search in the app.
Apple could also be planning ads in other apps including Podcasts and Books, and even on Apple TV via a subscription model that would include an ad supported tier in exchange for a cheaper monthly fee, Gurman predicts.
Expansion of Apple’s ads business
This would be an expansion of Apple’s current ads business, which is limited to the App Store—where developers pay to have their app boosted when certain search queries are entered—and its Stocks and News apps. Apple started asking people last year if they wanted to enable personalized ads on these apps, and you can turn this off in your iPhone Privacy settings.
Gurman also reiterated predictions that Apple is planning to include ads on its Today Tab—as I wrote previously.
It marks a major change in Apple’s strategy, which had previously focused on hardware to boost revenue. Over the last couple of years, the iPhone maker’s focus has shifted towards its services business, and this latest move is an extension of that.
The new Apple strategy comes after its App Tracking Transparency (ATT) features introduced in iOS 14.5 crippled Facebook’s ad business by limiting its ability to track people on the iPhone.
Gurman calls this “the elephant in the room,” saying:
“Before even talking about how Apple Inc. could expand its advertising business, I need to address the elephant in the room: how the company’s privacy efforts have stymied third-party advertising on its platform.”
He goes on to talk about how ATT is “perfectly reasonable,” adding that people should be able to choose whether they want to be tracked. However: “There’s no denying that ATT has created some collateral damage: a major revenue hit for companies big and small.
“You may not feel too bad for social media giants like Meta Platforms Inc. and Snap Inc. that have claimed to have lost billions of dollars as a result of Apple’s changes, but smaller developers also say the feature has upended their businesses,” Gurman adds.
Taking this into account, Gurman calls Apple’s decision to expand its ads business “ironic.”
This is especially true since Apple’s own way of personalizing ads is based on the data you produce by using its other services. “That doesn’t feel like a privacy-first policy,” says Gurman.
Gurman makes a very good point—and while you can switch Personalization off, the iPhone maker can still gather data including your carrier, device type and what you read.
Apple has been heavily promoting its privacy credentials for some time, so hopefully it will still be easy for people to opt out of personalization in their settings. However, in the interest of transparency, the iPhone maker will need to ensure it’s clear about the data it collects about you and keep with its own ATT rules.
San Francisco: Tech giant Microsoft has released a new beta version of its Office app for iPad with support for the Apple Pencil’s handwriting-to-text feature Scribble.
The feature allows you to insert and edit the text in a Word document, PowerPoint presentation, or Excel spreadsheet using the Apple Pencil, with handwriting automatically converted into typed text, reports AppleInsider.
After enabling the Scribble feature in Settings and then Apple Pencil, the feature can be used by tapping the Scribble Pen button under the Draw tab in version 2.64 of the Office app.
The feature can be tested now by members of the Office Insider programme via TestFlight, and the update will likely be released on the App Store for all users in the coming weeks.
Scribble was added in iPadOS 14 for any iPad that supports the original or second-generation Apple Pencil, including any iPad Pro, the third-generation iPad Air and newer, the fifth-generation iPad mini and newer, and the sixth-generation iPad and newer.
Microsoft’s unified Office app with Word, PowerPoint, and Excel gained iPad compatibility in February 2021 and is also available for the iPhone.
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