Mobile trends for 2017

Here is some aggregating of the data and then throwing out some predictions:

Mobile is eating the world also in 2017. As we pass 2.5bn smartphones on earth and head towards 5bn, and mobile moves from creation to deployment.

IHS research institute of the market next year will be 139 million a flexible screens, most of which are in smartphones. Vivo and Xiaomi have already released smart phones with flexible AMOLED screens. Progress has been slowed by the capacity of the display manufacturers, but Samsung Display and LG Display are already building new factories. It is expected that in 2020 the number of flexible screens will be 417 million.

Today’s smartphones utilize a wide array of sensors (accelerometers, gyroscopes and various other). New sensors will be added in 2017. Barometric pressure sensor, which measures air pressure, is currently being integrated into premium-grade smartphones and IoT applications. Air pressure sensors in smartphones are useful in navigation and fitness tracking applications but also in weather forecasting.

Rumors surrounding the next iPhone 8 keep coming in 2017. Analysts and market researchers have also predicted a big iPhone update from Apple. Let’s wait to see if this is evolution or revolution. A brief report in The Korea Economic Daily claims that Apple is working with LG on a new dual camera module “which enables 3D photographing. I would be surprised if Apple could come up with something that really revolutionary in 2017.

Virtual Reality Will Stay Hot in 2017. VR is the heaviest heterogeneous workload we encounter in mobile—there’s a lot going on. VR requires high refresh rates with new content every frame. It also needs to calculate data from multiple sensors and respond to it with updated visuals in less than 18 ms to keep up with the viewer’s head motions. To achieve these goals, the phone needs a fast-switching AMOLED display at nearly full brightness running constantly. The skyrocketing popularity of augmented reality (Pokemon Go) and virtual reality (Google VR) may be the boost microelecromechanical systems (MEMS) projectors into the mass market. Integrating micro-lidar (3-D imaging system using invisible infrared beams) to smart phone can become feasible.

Smart phone markets will be still almost completely be in the hands of Apple (iOS) and Google (Android) also in 2017. Microsoft’s Windows phone OS is practically dead in. But that does not stop other player trying to get their spot. For example Samsung wants developers to build apps for its homegrown Tizen mobile operating system, and it is offering cash prizes to do so. Samsung will launch further Tizen-powered smartphones in 2017, but the company is unlikely to swap Android for its home-grown software on high-end devices.

Mobile Video to Grow 50% a Year also n 2017. According to Ericsson’s Mobility Report, mobile data traffic continues to grow, driven both by increased smartphone subscriptions and a continued increase in average data volume per subscription, fueled primarily by more viewing of video content. Ericsson forecasts mobile video traffic to grow by around 50% annually through 2022.

Even though smart watch market has done much worse than expected in 2016, is not forgotter in 2017. Companies need to put effort to convince consumers that wearables — smartwatches specifically — are still in demand. For this Google says it will launch two flagship OEM-branded smartwatches and Android Wear 2.0 in early 2017.  The new platform brings a number of new features.

Smartphone is already widely used mobile payment, a person identifying itself and a wide range of services in place, so it is only a matter of time until the driver’s license is transferred to smart phone. In fact, the trend is already on the move, as piloted by Gemalto digital driver’s license in Colorado, Idaho, Maryland and Washington. In the early stages of the digital card functions as a conventional physical card partner.



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Android’s new Fast Pair feature will connect to Bluetooth gear quicker

    Google is finally putting an end to the hassle of pairing Bluetooth accessories with your phone, with the introduction of a new feature in Android 6.0 and up. It’s called Fast Pair, and it’ll work as seamlessly as connecting Apple devices together wirelessly.

    Enable pairing mode on a Fast Pair-compatible device and bring it near your phone, and you’ll instantly see an on-screen prompt to connect the two, including information about the accessory and a picture to go with it, as well as a companion app if one exists. From there, you can pair with just a tap – no fiddling with Bluetooth settings necessary.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Newest smartphones are becoming more common in some kind of neural network processor. Such is found in Apple’s A11 Bionic circuit and in the Huawein Kirin 970 chipset. Samsung does not seem to go the same way, as the new Exynos 9810 does not talk about any AI block.

    The 9810 processor is reportedly the next Galaxy S9 smartphone processor.


  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    HTC Vive Focus is a standalone VR headset with ‘world-scale’ tracking
    No PC nor base stations required for this 6DoF VR device.

    After a couple of teases earlier this year, HTC has finally unveiled its upcoming standalone VR headset at today’s Vive Developer Conference in Beijing. Dubbed the Vive Focus, this all-in-one device features inside-out 6-degree-of-freedom (6DoF) “world-scale” tracking, meaning it doesn’t require external base stations nor sensors, so you can get positional tracking anywhere at any time — even on a train or plane, should you wish to. While at least a couple of Chinese manufacturers have announced standalone 6DoF VR headsets before, HTC claims that the Focus will be the first of such kind to actually hit the market.

    “Now you can essentially do most of the things that you could do on a high-end machine on a standalone.”

    We already knew that the Focus packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with instant on support, and now we’re told that it also features a “high-resolution” AMOLED screen plus a rotational head strap that’s similar to the Vive’s Deluxe Audio Strap. Perhaps the only surprising bit of info is that the Focus comes with a 3DoF controller, though I was assured that it will still give “a very good experience” when paired with the 6DoF headset.

    But that’s not to say that developers can’t add 6DoF hand input to the Focus.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Devs / Google Developers Blog:
    Google announces TensorFlow Lite to enable fast inference of machine learning models on mobile and embedded devices

    Announcing TensorFlow Lite

    Today, we’re happy to announce the developer preview of TensorFlow Lite, TensorFlow’s lightweight solution for mobile and embedded devices! TensorFlow has always run on many platforms, from racks of servers to tiny IoT devices, but as the adoption of machine learning models has grown exponentially over the last few years, so has the need to deploy them on mobile and embedded devices. TensorFlow Lite enables low-latency inference of on-device machine learning models.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lucas Matney / TechCrunch:
    HTC and Google cancel plans for the HTC Daydream VR standalone headset in western markets; Google says plans are still in place for a Lenovo Daydream headset — One of the only questions I’ve asked HTC VR execs consistently over the past several months is whether the Daydream version …

    HTC cancels plans to release wireless VR headset with Google in the U.S.

    One of the only questions I’ve asked HTC VR execs consistently over the past several months is whether the Daydream version of its upcoming standalone headset would ship on time in late 2017, they have consistently said it will, though now it seems as though the entire project has been cancelled.

    HTC and Google both confirmed to TechCrunch that a Daydream-branded HTC standalone headset will no longer be coming to the U.S. market. Google initially announced the partnership back in May for a standalone headset from HTC based on its new WorldSense tracking technology.

    “We still have a great relationship with Google, but will not be bringing a standalone device to the western markets on Daydream,” an HTC spokesperson told TechCrunch in a statement.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Scientia Mobile makes intelligent phone statistics based on how the devices make side requests for thousands of web pages. The latest statistics will please Apple very much. For example, in Europe four of the most popular smartphones are all different iPhone models.

    At the end of September, Europe’s most popular smartphone was the iPhone 6S. Of the world’s smart phones, it accounted for six percent. The second came from the iPhone 6, the third on the iPhone 7 and the fourth on the iPhone 5S, accounting for four percent.

    Every fifth smartphone in Europe is iPhone. The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge was listed with its 5% market share. Android phones account for 69 percent of the European market. There are still two percent of smartphones for Windows devices, but they are disappearing.


  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    BlackBerry Motion: The Phone That Won’t Die
    Industrial chic

    You may be wondering what’s the point? A BlackBerry without a keyboard is like an alcohol-free beer – when you don’t need to drive. It took the old RIM/BlackBerry years to make a decent full-touch phone, and after it did, it didn’t try again – last year’s DTEKs were replated and rebadged TCL Idol phones.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    There is already one billion older insecure Android phones

    It is well known that new updates will come to Android phones with a very varied schedule. At the same time, there is a very wide range of devices on different versions. This has resulted in up to 1 billion of an insecure Android smartphone being used.

    The big problem with development is that Google is forced to extend the upgrade support for the devices. This has been a big problem since the Android versions are well adapted to the specific rage that manufacturers drive operators do not want to develop ongoing up-to-date updates. Manufacturers and operators want users to buy a new phone.

    The latest Android version is 8.0 or Oreo. Its share of Android devices is currently 0.3 percent. The Nougat 7 version has been upgraded to every fifth Android phone on the market.



  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Germany bans smartwatches for kids over spying concerns

    Germany bans smartwatches for kids over spying concerns
    Posted 9 hours ago by Brian Heater (@bheater)

    Germany’s Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) issued a blanket ban on smartwatches aimed at children this week — and asked parents who’d already purchased such a device to destroy them, for good measure. The aggressive move is a response to growing privacy concerns surrounding devices aimed at minors.

    “Via an app, parents can use such children’s watches to listen unnoticed to the child’s environment and they are to be regarded as an unauthorized transmitting system,”

    Germany bans children’s smartwatches

    A German regulator has banned the sale of smartwatches aimed at children, describing them as spying devices.
    It had previously banned an internet-connected doll called, My Friend Cayla, for similar reasons.
    Telecoms regulator the Federal Network Agency urged parents who had such watches to destroy them.
    One expert said the decision could be a “game-changer” for internet-connected devices.
    “Poorly secured smart devices often allow for privacy invasion. That is really concerning when it comes to kids’ GPS tracking watches – the very watches that are supposed to help keep them safe,” said Ken Munro, a security expert at Pen Test Partners.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Most Expensive Mobile Phones In The World {2017 Updated}

    Do you know Which are The World’s top 10 Most Expensive Mobile Phones in 2017?

    In this, {2017 Updated Guide} We’ll Know about most expensive phones, I’m Going to show you World Most expensive Phones with Those phones Price, Specifications and Reson why Those are World Most Expensive Mobile phones.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Back to the Fuchsia: The next 10 years of Android
    Beyond world domination

    Part Two In Part One we described how, after 10 years, Android was uncannily similar to Windows after 20 years.

    But similar is not the same.

    Android is like Windows in as much as it’s dominant – and also anarchic, fragmented, insecure, with a user base that lags far behind the latest code. The platform owner is accused of all kinds of competition issues around bundling: Microsoft then, Google now.

    But in many important ways, Android now is also not like Windows then, at all.

    Android at 10: How Google won the smartphone wars
    It’s like Windows at 20. But slurpier

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    As Google clamps down, ‘Droid developer warns ‘breaking day’ is coming
    The Chocolate Factory plugs accessibility fudge

    Mobile app developers are being forced to rewrite their code as Google attempts to tame Android’s Wild West.

    The developer of the power management app Greenify has been given 30 days to alter its code by the gatekeepers at Google’s Play Store, and stop using Google’s accessibility framework.

    The framework is used by legitimate utilities to simulate text entry or screen taps, but it’s also something nefarious app developers can exploit too. For example, it’s used by criminal sites for ad fraud, generating fake clicks without the user being aware of it. This hits Google’s bottom line.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Samsung’s Galaxy S9 Will Appear At CES In January, Says Report

    According to VentureBeat, Samsung is planning to show off its next-generation Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones at January’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

    Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, iterative upgrades, will make a cameo at CES

    Samsung is planning to show off its next-generation Galaxy S handsets a bit earlier than usual, according to someone briefed on the company’s plans, with the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ scheduled to make their first public appearance at January’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

    Although some of the details of the new models were shared with VentureBeat, it’s not clear how much information about the devices will be revealed at CES. Samsung is still apparently holding an official launch event in March, as it did this past year for the Galaxy S8 and S8+.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Evan Blass / VentureBeat:
    Source: Samsung plans to showcase Galaxy S9 and S9+ at CES in January; phones will have similar appearance to S8, same screen size, more RAM, second back camera

    Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, iterative upgrades, will make a cameo at CES

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Qualcomm has now released a document on its website, which explains exactly what it needs to compensate smartphones for utilizing their technology. According to the company, its rules are in line with FRAND principles, fair and equitable licensing principles, and with ETSI’s IPR policy.

    In the future, Qualcomm requires roaming from its 5G phone using its application processor 2.275 percent of its sales price. For each of the thousands of Euro 5G sold in the Qualcomm account, it’s worth $ 22.75.

    However, devices will also work in older 3G and 4G networks. In these devices, Qualcomm has defined its royalties to 3.25 percent.

    However, devices will also work in older 3G and 4G networks. In these devices, Qualcomm has defined its royalties to 3.25 percent.


  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    In October, Huawei introduced its new flagship phone Mate 10 Pro. The device is Huawei’s first smart smartphone for local intelligence. Artificial intelligence is not a mere leap, it has many benefits.

    The most talked about the ability of the Mate 10 to recognize the subjects described. The number of objects to be detected is still limited – now there are 14 different views – but the number will increase with the firmware updates in the future.

    With the Krin 970 processor, image recognition is done with the NPU neurology unit. Circuit intelligence is based on up to 300 million models taught cloud computing. When the models are transferred to the terminal, their number is compressed to about 10,000, which is due to already limited amount of memory.


  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Qualcomm, Apple Exchange Fresh Salvos

    Qualcomm filed three more patent infringement complaints against Apple Inc., one day after Apple turned the tables and accused Qualcomm of infringing patents held by Apple.

    The latest moves ratchet up the tension in an already red hot feud between the two longtime partners over contractual disputes, withheld payments and accusations of exorbitant licensing fees.

    Qualcomm (San Diego) filed three new patent infringement complaints in U.S. District Court in San Diego, alleging Apple is in violation of an additional 16 patents held by Qualcomm. The fabless chip firm also filed a new complaint against Apple at the U.S. International Trade Commission, arguing that Apple is in violation of five of the same patents.

    Apple filed a $1 billion suit against Qualcomm in January over allegedly withheld royalty rebates. Qualcomm first filed suit against Apple alleging infringement of battery life technology patents in July, around the same time it asked the ITC to ban the importation of Apple iPhones that use Intel modems.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Christina Farr / CNBC:
    Apple partners with Stanford University to launch heart research study using a new Apple Watch app to detect and collect data on abnormal heart rhythms

    Apple COO Jeff Williams on Apple Watch heart study: ‘Hopefully we can save a lot of lives’

    Apple is facilitating a massive heart study that will use the Apple Watch to detect a heart abnormality called atrial fibrillation, responsible for 130,000 deaths a year in the U.S.
    The watch will use LED lights, light-sensitive conductors and software to monitor blood flow to look for abnormalities.
    Because the study is available to anybody over age 22 and is mobile, Apple COO Jeff Williams says it’s an opportunity to “save a lot of lives.”

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Microsoft Edge browser now available for all Android and iOS users

    Microsoft unveiled a beta version of its Edge web browser last month for iOS and Android. Testers had to sign-up to get special access to the new browser, but Microsoft is making both the Android and iOS versions generally available today. Microsoft Edge for mobile is mainly useful if you tend to resume a lot of browsing from a phone to a Windows 10 PC.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google finally bans apps that include shady lock screen ads from the Play Store

    Ads are just a fact of life in mobile apps. You can’t completely avoid them, but there are some ad implementations that are so annoying that Google has explicitly disallowed them from the Play Store. Remember Airpush? The current advertising scourge is ad-infused lock screens, which have shown up in previously safe apps like ES File Explorer, Peel, and Hotspot Shield VPN. Google has finally listened to our pleading, and lock screen ads are no longer allowed in the Play Store.

    Technically, the new policy is a bit more nuanced than “no ads on the lock screen.”

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Qualcomm seeks ban on sales of Intel-based iPhone X in US

    Legal filing with ITC is the latest move in a heated patent infringement battle between Apple and its key chip supplier.

    If Qualcomm has its way, it could get even tougher to buy certain iPhone X models.

    The chipmaker on Thursday filed a request with the US International Trade Commission to ban the import and sale of certain iPhones that use Intel’s modem. Those would include the iPhone X, 8, 8 Plus, 7 and 7 Plus that run on AT&T and T-Mobile. The phones that run on networks from Verizon and Sprint use Qualcomm’s modem and wouldn’t be included in the ban.

    “Apple can import iPhones (regardless of who supplies the modems) that do not infringe the patents asserted in this action, but Apple has no inherent right to infringe Qualcomm’s [non-standards essential patents] through the sale of its iPhones,” Qualcomm said in its filing.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple’s hand is down and its $1 trillion dream now rests with consumers

    As we head into the end of 2017, it’s pretty safe to say that Apple’s fate — barring any major issue with its phones — is now in the hands of its consumers.

    With the iPhone X now in stores (well, sort of — if you catch them at the right time), Apple has now laid down its hand and waits to see where consumer demand lands.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Users with the November security patch are seeing a loss in battery life

    If you have an Android device with the November security patch, how’s your battery life? Users across Reddit, XDA Forums, and Google’s support forums are reporting that their batteries are taking a beating.

    Google has yet to comment on the bug beyond letting people its investigating and to stay tuned. This issue doesn’t appear to be device-specific. While Pixel owners have been the most vocal about it, owners of the Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and those with OnePlus devices have also reported the issue.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Xiaomi is now growing fastest

    Gartner has released third-quarter smartphone sales statistics. Samsung continues to be the number one market share of 22.3 percent, with Apple being close to 12 percent. The fastest among the top five is China’s Xiaomi, which nearly doubled its market share during the year.

    In July-September, a total of 383.4 million smartphones were sold, which is more than 11 million more than a year earlier. Samsung sold 14 million more units than in 2016. Apple sold 2.4 million more iPhones, Huawei’s more than four million units, Oppo five million more, and Xiaomi is as much as 12 million more.

    The figures clearly indicate that growth in smartphones now focuses on larger manufacturers. The top five manufacturers now sold 25 million units less.


  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Android Wear hardware boss bails
    Factory reset

    The engineering chief and public face of Google’s wearables efforts has bailed.

    Belfast-born Andrew Singleton was previously described as “the Engineering VP leading the Android Wear, Google Fit, Android Essentials apps and Google Store teams.”

    He’s joining digital payments company Stripe.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google to Warn Android Users on Apps Collecting Data

    Google is stepping its fight against unwanted and harmful applications on Android and will soon alert users on apps and websites leading to apps that collect personal data without their consent.

    Produced by Google Safe Browsing, the alerts will start popping up on Android devices in a couple of months, as part of expanded enforcement of Google’s Unwanted Software Policy, the Internet giant announced.

    Unwanted Software Policy

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The SMS was 25 years old

    The world’s first text message (SMS) was sent in early December 1992. “Tekstari” is considered by many as a Finnish invention, but this view is incorrect. The SMS message is above all a joint project where Nokia’s role as Matti Makkosella plays a central role.

    The first SMS was sent to Vodafone’s network in England from a computer to Orbitel’s mobile phone. There were still no mobile phones on the market that could have sent new messages.


  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ron Amadeo / Ars Technica:
    Google launches Android Oreo (Go edition) for low-end phones with less than 1GB RAM, which uses smaller Go versions of apps like Gmail, YouTube, and Maps — Google’s stripped-down version of Android is ready for OEMs. — Google’s upcoming low-end configuration of Android—”Android Go”—has hit a major milestone.

    Google releases “Android Go” to OEMs, along with a suite of low-end Google apps
    Google’s stripped-down version of Android is ready for OEMs.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Freedom 251 deliveries stalled because of fraud

    Mohit Goel says that he will still distribute the $4 Android phones that thousands have been waiting for. And it’s been a long time waiting.

    Goel is managing director of Ringing Bells, the firm that launched the Freedom 251 phone in India for the price of Rs. 251. Hundreds of thousands of pre-orders were lodged and ensuing controversy slammed into it — the industry said it was too cheap to be made in India at that price and the deliveries that were supposed to happen… didn’t. Not quickly, at least.

    The executive had been arrested and imprisoned for 6 months this year after being confronted by distributors on the lack of units that were being distributed. But he’s now confronting the manufacturer partners that he says were supposed to bring the goods.

    Vikas Sharma and Jeetu of Delhi-based Vie Technology were arrested on fraud allegations. Goel accuses the two of making off with Rs. 3.27 crore or nearly $470,000 without providing product.

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sony’s Super Slo-Mo Cellphone Camera

    This past summer, Sony debuted a high end cellphone, the Xperia XZ, that can take slow-motion videos at frame rates over an order of magnitude faster than its competitors’ handsets. The phone’s camera can capture the flapping of birds’ wings or a skateboard trick at a rate of 960 frames per second. By contrast, the iPhone X offers a maximum of 60 frames per second at 4K (ultra-high definition); the Samsung Galaxy S8 offers half that frame rate at 4K, and up to 60 fps when recording in high definition.

    This week, at the International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco, Sony presented details about how it made this speedy camera work within the space and power constraints of a cellphone. The key is an unusual 3D-stacked design that sandwiches a layer of DRAM between a CMOS image sensor and a layer of logic.

    Camera speeds are typically limited by the time it takes to transfer data off of individual pixels

    The 19.3-million-pixel image sensing chip, a logic layer, and a layer comprising 1 gigabit of DRAM are fabricated on separate wafers, then bonded together, thinned, and connected through interlayer links called through-silicon vias. At about 130 micrometers thick, this stacked sensor is still small enough for a cellphone

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Extended Reality (XR)

    Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) will be mixed together and replaced with term XR.


  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Inside Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 for PCs, mobes: Cortex-A75s, fat caches, vector math, security stuff, and more
    Specs, features summarized

    Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip will include an isolated security core for handling sensitive personal information, among other new features.

    The California chip designer showed off its upcoming 845 component at a tech summit in Hawaii on Wednesday, promising the silicon will power 2018′s high-end Android smartphones and most likely future Windows 10 PCs – following in the footsteps of its older sibling, the Snapdragon 835.

    The 845 will be a 64-bit Armv8-compatible 10nm FinFET system-on-chip fabricated by Samsung using the Korean manufacturing giant’s 10LPP (low power plus) process technology. The package is about the same size as the 10nm FinFET 835, and packs in three or more billion transistor gates.

    It uses four customized Arm Cortex-A75 and four customized Cortex-A55 CPU cores. The tweaked A75s are the beefy power-hungry general-purpose brains of the device, clocked at up to 2.8GHz, and kick in when whatever code is running needs a burst of performance at a cost of battery life.

    The modified A55s are called the efficiency cores because they require less power and provide less performance, and run application and operating system code most of the time, leaving the power cores to sleep. The A55s are clocked up to 1.8GHz.

    One potential differentiator is the Secure Processing Unit (SPU), which is new to the 845. This is a modified Arm SC300.

    It has its own CPU core, embedded private RAM, hardware random number generator and accelerated cryptographic functions, all on its own power island within the system-on-chip die. It runs code supplied by Qualcomm and whoever manufactured the device housing the system-on-chip.

    But wait, there’s more

    As well all this semiconductor nerd stuff, the 845 has various things to make next year’s smartphones using the silicon take better photos and video and do better at machine-learning tasks – the kind of thing normal people will notice immediately over their older handsets.

    One thing Qualcomm was a little sore about is that it has been designing chips for years that can crunch vector math calculations rapidly in hardware, in its GPUs and its DSPs.

    However, unlike a few other vendors, Qualcomm didn’t slap an “AI processor” or ‘neural network chip” label on its stuff, so now it’s grumpy that it looks like it’s behind the times, when really, its chips have been accelerating machine-learning inference code for ages.

    The 845′s Spectra 280 image signal processor can capture Ultra HD Premium video: 4K resolution video at 60 frames per second, with 10bit-per-RGB-color and the Rec.2020 color gamut. That’s 30 bits of color per pixel as opposed to 24 bits. It can also capture up to 32Mp total from up to two cameras, and record slow-motion 780p video at 480 frames per second.

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nokia 8: As pure as the driven Android – it’s a classy return
    No surprises, just a well made modern mobe

    HMD’s efforts to put the Nokia brand over what we call the “Shenzhen generics” formula haven’t exactly set the world on fire yet. But in all honesty, you’ll struggle to find anything better for £399, the revised price of the Nokia 8.

    China’s supply chains and market maturation have caused a great levelling in the phone industry. For about two or three years, you’ve been able to get a top-specced phone from a no-name brand – and what additional features Samsung or Sony offered didn’t really matter to most people. Models from Xiaomi, Oppo and ZTE repackaged quality components but otherwise indistinguishable. They were largely generic. And made in or around “Shenzhen”. Hence “Shenzhen generics”.

    For IP reasons, we never saw most of these in Europe

    The opportunity arose to de-risk the proposition, then: building a local brand with local support. WileyFox attempted to do this with budget models, and BKK-owned OnePlus at the high end. HMD is doing it using the revived Nokia brand across the board: both cheap and high-end, and the Nokia 8 is the high end.

    Having seen so many of these generics, I didn’t expect that HMD would add a great deal of value. But largely thanks to subtle design choices it made, the Nokia 8 is really a very satisfying thing to have and use. There’s only one non-generic tech “feature”, and we can get it out of the way quite quickly: simultaneous use of the front and back cameras. Useful, no doubt, to video bloggers but hardly anyone else.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    BLU finally breaks silence regarding bad update for Life One X2

    After being silent for the weekend, BLU has now come out on Twitter to offer help to those that might have experienced an issue with a recent update that was pushed over-the-air to one of its handsets.

    If you have not heard, the update was for the Life One X2 and caused significant issues, as there were various reports of users being locked out of their devices without a means to get back in.

    The company states that this fix is only for those that have not performed a factory reset or exceeded the number of PIN attempts.

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Partners with Qualcomm, MediaTek on Oreo

    MediaTek and Qualcomm have announced that they are system-on-chip (SoC) partners for Google’s recent release of the Android Oreo (Go edition) operating system designed for entry-level smartphones.

    Android Go is a version of the Android Oreo operating system that’s designed to run on smartphones with either 512MB or 1GB of RAM. By comparison, flagship handsets on the market today use as much as 6GB of RAM. The no-frills phones will use the Go versions of Google apps such as the main Google app, Google Assistant, Google Maps and Gmail.

    After working with Google, MediaTek said that its MT6739, MT6737 and MT6580 SoCs, among others, have board support packages available to run the Go edition of Android Oreo. Google said it worked with MediaTek to ensure that the Go edition works well on MediaTek’s line of processors, enabling a faster time-to-market mechanism for device manufacturers and ensuring a quality Android smartphone experience that is secure and affordable.

    Introducing Android Oreo (Go edition) with the release of Android 8.1

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jake Smith / ZDNet:
    Baidu and Qualcomm announce strategic AI partnership to optimize Baidu’s DuerOS conversational AI system for Snapdragon processors

    Qualcomm, Baidu form AI partnership to optimize DuerOS for Snapdragon

    Qualcomm’s collaboration with Baidu will bring AI for voice enabled solutions to the new Snapdragon 845 mobile platform.

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple’s widened ban on templated apps is wiping small businesses from the App Store

    Apple’s widened ban on templated apps is wiping small businesses from the App Store
    Posted 12 hours ago by Sarah Perez (@sarahintampa)
    Apple’s widened ban on templated apps is wiping small businesses from the App Store

    ollowing its Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple released updated App Store guidelines that included a new rule allowing it to ban apps created by a “commercialized template or app generation service.” The understanding at the time was this was part of Apple’s larger App Store cleanup, and the focus was on helping rid the marketplace of low-quality clone and spam apps. But things have since changed. A number of app-building companies that had earlier believed themselves to be in the clear are now being affected, as well.
    Many companies have recently been given a January 1, 2018 deadline, after which point any new apps they submit will be rejected by the App Store Review team, they’ve been told by Apple.

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    France to impose total ban on mobile phones in schools

    France is to impose a total ban on pupils using mobile phones in primary and secondary schools starting in September 2018, its education minister has confirmed.

    Phones are already forbidden in French classrooms but starting next school year, pupils will be barred from taking them out at breaks, lunch times and between lessons.

    “These days the children don’t play at break time anymore, they are just all in front of their smartphones and from an educational point of view that’s a problem,” said Jean-Michel Blanquer, the French education minister.

    “Are we going to ban mobile phones from schools? The answer is yes.”

    Up to 40 per cent of punishments are mobile-related, according to Philippe Tournier, a Paris headmaster with the Snpden-Unsa teaching union. But he said it was tricky to know how to clamp down on the practice without being able to, say, search pupils’ bags.

    It remains unclear how the ban would work. Mr Blanquer had previously suggested that schools would have to provide lockers for pupils to store the phones during school hours.

    Earlier this year, he suggested that if French politicians were able to put their phones away during council of ministers meetings, then surely it was “possible for any human group, including a class” to do the same.

    The practice is already in use in many French “colleges”, or primary schools.

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Oliver Cragg / Android Authority:
    US biometrics company Synaptics says it has perfected an in-display fingerprint sensor that is now in mass production in partnership with “a top five OEM” — – Synaptics has announced that it has created an in-display fingerprint sensor called Clear ID

    It sure sounds like Synaptics’ new in-display fingerprint sensor is for the Galaxy S9

    Synaptics has announced that it has created an in-display fingerprint sensor called Clear ID
    The sensors are currently in mass production in partnership with “a top five OEM”
    The company referenced “infinity displays” three times during the announcement – is Samsung involved?

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Takashi Mochizuki / Wall Street Journal:
    Sources: Nintendo is looking to form new partnerships with developers to produce mobile games faster, after a 2015 partnership with DeNA fell behind schedule
    Big Boss Nintendo Seeks New Sidekicks in Smartphone Battle
    Videogame maker’s previous efforts fell behind schedule

  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    No one saw it coming: Rubin’s Essential phone considered anything but
    Paltry 50,000 sold, according to camera app download stats

    Andy Rubin’s ambitions to create a new consumer electronics ecosystem are floundering at base camp. Sales of Essential’s phone, which forms a key part of the strategy, are tepid.

    Google Play reports a mere 50,000 download of Essential’s Camera app so far, the Android Police blog notes. This doesn’t paint the full picture, but it can be assumed a fairly complete one, barring a few brush strokes.*

    Essential launched in the US with support from Sprint, at a recommended SIM-free retail price of $699. After reported sales of just five thousand in the first month, this was slashed to $499 and could be grabbed for $399 in the post-Thanksgiving sales.

    Rubin has alluded to “a new operating system so it can speak all those protocols and it can do it securely and privately”. But rather than launching a new software platform he’s had to launch hardware.

  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple Awards $390 Million to Optical Components Supplier Finisar

    Optical communications components provider Finisar will get $390 million from customer Apple to open a manufacturing facility for vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), a technology used in key features of Apple products, including iPhone X.

    Finisar will use part of the funding to transform a long-shuttered, 700,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Sherman, Texas, into a workhorse of VSCEL manufacturing by the second half of next year, creating more than 500 jobs, including engineers and technicians, Apple said. The combination of the Sherman plant and another Finisar plant in Allen, Texas, is expected to bring Finisar’s payroll in the state to more than $65 million.

  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Security For Android-Based Ecosystem With Mobile Storage IP

    How hardware inline encryption in eMMC and UFS works and why it’s important.

    Users are storing more sensitive data in flash memory on their mobile applications such as digital cameras, smart phones and tablets. Because of this reason, the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC) have developed two storage interface standards using inline encryption to secure data: embedded Multimedia Controller (eMMC) and Universal Flash Storage (UFS). For mainstream mobile applications, eMMC provides reliability, throughput and support for fast boot, and for high-end mobile applications, UFS adds significant performance and power features.

    In a smart phone, the eMMC or UFS is divided into two partitions – read only and apps and data. The system uses the read only partition to store the Android Operating System, which users can’t program and modify without breaking the phone’s functionality. The apps and data partition stores applications and user data such as documents and multimedia files.

    This article describes how the eMMC or UFS host controller inline encryption function performs security tasks in Android-based applications.

  44. Tomi Engdahl says:

    MediaTek Claims First Health Biosensor for Smartphones

    Claiming an industry first, MediaTek announced a biosensor that monitors six types of health functions — including tracking heart-rate information, blood-pressure trends, peripheral oxygen-saturation levels and more — from a smartphone.

    The MediaTek Sensio MT6381 is a software and module package designed to deliver health data via optical, electrical and processing components. The customizable device will allow smartphone manufacturers to make handsets with health-monitoring functions while eliminating the need for multiple sensors, according to MediaTek.

    The Sensio will also provide manufacturers the flexibility to develop proprietary applications or leverage third-party applications and developer add-ons, the company said in a press statement.

  45. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Don’t keep cell phones next to your body, California Health Department warns

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a warning against the hazards of cellphone radiation this week. Yes, the thing we are all addicted to and can’t seem to put down is leaking electromagnetic radiation and now California has some guidance to safeguard the public.

    “Although the science is still evolving, there are concerns among some public health professionals and members of the public regarding long-term, high use exposure to the energy emitted by cell phones,” said CDPH director Dr. Karen Smith.

    The CDHP recommends not keeping your phone in your pocket, not putting it up to your ear for a prolonged amount of time, keeping use low if there are two bars or less, not sleeping near it at night and to be aware that if you are in a fast-moving car, bus or train, your phone will emit more RF energy to maintain the connection

    The only research I could find all concur that the only impact of the non-ionizing radiation that cell phones emit is heating (a few hundreths of a degree) in living tissue

    If non-ionizing radiation were harmfull, the billions of people using them would show some symptoms. However, while cell phone and smartphone use (along with WiFi and Bluetooth, in the same band) has exploded from nothing, over the same interval things like gliomas have decreased.


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