Connect with us

Tech

Samsung Exposes Radical New Galaxy Smartphone [Updates] – Forbes

Published

 on


Samsung’s Galaxy S11 has leaked and leaked again, revealing a series of radical new features. And now Samsung confirmed its new smartphone for the first time. 

Samsung Black Friday 2019: Early Galaxy S10, Galaxy Note 10, QLED HDTV Deals

Forbes Gordon Kelly

Picked up by the ever-alert XDA Developers, Samsung has publicly revealed the Galaxy S11 for the first time in its application to China’s CCC. The company also disclosed its exact model number as well as its headline feature and fast charging speed. 

11/27 Update: acclaimed leaker @OnLeaks has teamed with CashKaro to reveal just how radical Samsung’s Galaxy S11+ will be thanks to an extreme new quintuple rear camera in a huge rectangular hump. The primary camera is understood to be 108MP with 5X optical zoom, capable of 8K video recording but, aside from ultra-wide angle and telephoto lenses, it is unknown what the other modules will do. Images below.

12/1 Update: popular Samsung insider @IceUniverse has built upon the OnLeak’s design leak revealing that “key parts are wrong, the real design is more beautiful than this” explaining that the cameras will be symmetrical and the 5x optical zoom lens will be square. While the display will have a class-leading 120Hz display.

12/18 Update: Ice Universe is back with a further design update. He confirms the top and bottom bezels are even (a Samsung first) as well as an image of the all-new camera he promised would be symmetrical, unlike the initial renders from OnLeaks.

The first of these is good news. Samsung confirms the Galaxy S11 (listed as ‘SM-G9860’) will come with 5G. This should set the bar for 2020 smartphones with almost all rivals upgrading their flagships to 5G tech, including wide-band support from Apple

The second disclosure, is less positive. Samsung reveals that the Galaxy S11 will only have support for a maximum charging speed of 25W. Granted, this is a step-up from the ageing 15W standard of the Galaxy S10, but the Note 10 Plus introduced 45W charging so it’s going to raise eyebrows that Samsung has taken a step down from this. 

Google Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL Review: Smart Phones, Dumb Decisions

Forbes Gordon Kelly

I suspect the reality is Samsung will again save 45W charging for the larger Galaxy S11 Plus, but with big rivals like OnePlus, Honor and Huawei all offering phones with 40W+ charge capabilities, it’s surprising to see Samsung be so unambitious with Galaxy S11. It also confirms that revolutionary new battery tech Samsung is working on will not make it into the phone.

That said, elsewhere we know Samsung is aiming high. Samsung is equipping its Galaxy S11s with a potentially groundbreaking camera codenamed ‘Hubble’ due to its extreme zoom capabilities. There will also be new shooting modes, a new design, big performance upgrades, next-gen memory, a supersized fingerprint sensor and a real crowdpleaser: much bigger batteries

With all this information, should you still buy the Galaxy S10 or Galaxy Note 10? On the surface no, but I will admit there are some massive Black Friday savings to be had on both models, which might just tip the balance.  

___

Follow Gordon on Facebook

More On Forbes

Samsung Galaxy S11: Everything We Know So Far

Samsung Patents Reveal Crazy Foldable Smartphones

Samsung Black Friday 2019: Early Galaxy S10, Galaxy Note 10, QLED HDTV Deals

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Tech

Facebook ‘planning to rebrand company’ with new name – Al Jazeera English

Published

 on


CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to talk about the name change at its annual conference on October 28, but it could be sooner.

Social media giant Facebook Inc is planning to rebrand itself with a new name next week, American technology blog the Verge reported on Tuesday, citing a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg plans to talk about the name change at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28, but it could be unveiled sooner, the Verge reported.

In response, Facebook said it does not comment on “rumour or speculation”.

The news comes at a time when the company is facing increasing government scrutiny in the United States over its business practices.

Legislators from both parties have excoriated the company, illustrating the rising anger in Congress with Facebook.

‘A metaverse company’

The rebranding would position Facebook’s social media app as one of many products under a parent company, which will also oversee groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus and more, the Verge report added.

It is not uncommon in Silicon Valley for companies to change their names as they bid to expand their services.

Google established Alphabet Inc as a holding company in 2015 to expand beyond its search and advertising businesses, to oversee various other ventures ranging from its autonomous vehicle unit and health technology to providing internet services in remote areas.

The move to rebrand will also reflect Facebook’s focus on building the so-called metaverse, an online world where people can use different devices to move and communicate in a virtual environment, according to the report.

Facebook has invested heavily in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) and intends to connect its nearly three billion users through several devices and apps. On Tuesday, the company announced plans to create 10,000 jobs in the European Union over the next five years to help build the metaverse.

Zuckerberg has been talking up metaverse since July when he said that the key to Facebook’s future lies with the metaverse concept – the idea that users will live, work and exercise inside a virtual universe. The company’s Oculus virtual reality headsets and service are an instrumental part of realizing that vision.

“In the coming years, I expect people will transition from seeing us primarily as a social media company to seeing us as a metaverse company,” Zuckerberg said at the time. “In many ways, the metaverse is the ultimate expression of social technology.”

The buzzy word, first coined in a dystopian novel three decades earlier, has been referenced by other tech firms such as Microsoft.

The Verge report said a possible name for the company could have something to do with Horizon. Recently, Facebook renamed its in-development VR gaming platform named ‘Horizon’’to “Horizon Worlds”.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Tech

Apple's voice-only Music subscription could boost Siri's accent understanding – TechCrunch

Published

 on


Apple had a slew of interesting announcements at its event on Monday. But one that stood out to me — and I feel didn’t get as much attention — is the new pricing tier of Apple Music. A new “Voice” tier will offer the entire Apple Music library to subscribers at a reduced rate of just $5 per month: The catch is you have to use Siri to access it, eschewing the standard Apple Music visual and typing-friendly in-app user interface.

Apple didn’t share why it is launching this plan, but I think it’s reasonable to speculate that the iPhone-maker is lowering the price barrier and persuading more people to use Siri because it wants to gather more voice data to train and improve its voice assistant.

“We’re excited that even more people will be able to enjoy Apple Music simply with their voice,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook said at the event.

I can’t imagine any other compelling reason why the Apple Music Voice plan exists, especially since Apple is likely offering the new service with much lower margins than the standard plan, as the licensing agreements with labels remain the same to offer up the entire Apple Music catalog.

Again, this is just speculation, but I think given the stiff competition between Apple and Spotify, if the Swedish firm could offer its streaming service at $7-8 a month to beat Apple Music at price, it would. And Apple is taking some loss with the new subscription tier because it really wants to gather vast amounts of data. When I tweeted this theory, my colleague Alex wondered aloud why wouldn’t Apple just make the subscription free? I suppose Apple, a $2.5 trillion company, can technically swallow that much of a hit on the balance sheet, but it doesn’t want to attract more criticism from standalone music streaming firms such as Spotify. It’s already facing scrutiny for anti-competitive behavior on a number of fronts.

Tech firms feed their AI models with vast amounts of data to improve the services’ capabilities. Even as Siri has considerably improved over the years, the general consensus among many people who work in tech and the masses alike is that Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant are far superior.

It’s likely that Apple has already been gleaning such voice data from existing Apple Music users, but as a friend suggested, “the point is this — this feature always existed. It’s just that they’d put a high paywall. They’ve lowered that wall now.” In addition to lowering the barrier to entry, making Music voice-only via the new plan means people have to engage with Siri to make use of it; Siri is a feature for standard Apple Music subscribers, but it’s highly likely that most users primarily or exclusively access the content via the app’s UI.

If you want an example of what can happen to voice-powered assistants when you require that users treat it as a voice-first or voice-only service, look at Amazon’s Alexa. Out of the gate, Alexa had to be accessed by voice. This allowed Amazon to not only collect massive amounts of training data for its Alexa algorithms, but also helped train users about how to use it to maximum effect.

Understanding accents and dialects

Another reason why I think my theory works is the markets where Apple plans to offer this new subscription tier first: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Having India, Spain, Ireland and France in the first wave of nations suggests that Apple is looking to amass a wide-range of dialects and accents from across the globe. On a side note, voice search is very popular in many markets, including developing nations such as India, and in markets like China and Japan where text input can sometimes be unnecessarily complex versus spoken word. (A Google executive told me once that the surprising mass adoption of voice searches in India, the world’s second-largest smartphone market and where Android commands about 98% of the pie, helped the company improve Google Assistant and prompted more aggressive approach to innovate on the voice front.)

Siri is often framed as a bit of a laggard in terms of its competence versus the rest of the voice assistant competition, and Apple’s latest move in services could be an attempt to help it close the perceived gap, while offering customers a discounted way to onboard to its music streaming service.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Tech

PSA: the MacBook Pro 14-inch’s $20 power brick upsell is probably worth it – The Verge

Published

 on


If you’re looking at buying the $1,999 base model MacBook Pro 14-inch, there’s one upgrade that you may really want to make — the $20 one that gets you the 96W power adapter instead of the 67W included power adapter. That’s because, according to some wording on Apple’s MacBook Pro configuration page (spotted by MacRumors), you’ll need the more powerful charger if you want to take advantage of the computer’s fast charging feature, which can charge the laptop up to 50 percent in half an hour.

Is it ridiculous that Apple is basically taxing the people who want to buy its least expensive (but still very pricey!) new MacBook Pro? Yes, absolutely — but you should still probably pay it if you want to charge your laptop up quickly. The exception is if you already have a charging brick capable of 100W USB-PD power delivery: Apple tells The Verge that you can fast charge via Thunderbolt as long as your power brick provides enough power. If you already have a beefy power brick, you can skip the upsell.

I know it probably doesn’t feel great to encourage Apple’s nickel-and-diming, but if you want fast charging, this will likely be the best way to get it. There may be, somewhere in the world, a 100W USB-PD charging brick that sells for $20, but there’s no way I would trust it enough to charge a very expensive computer. (If it was $20, I might not even trust it not to burn down my house). I’d pick the upsell.

The one silver lining is that this is only a problem on the base 8 CPU core / 14 GPU core model — if you do any processor upgrades, you’ll get the 96W brick for “free.” Please note, though, that upgrading just the RAM and/or storage on the base MacBook Pro won’t get you that upgrade, but if you’re in the configuration screen anyways, you should absolutely check that box unless you hate fast charging.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending