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Huawei will reveal new Honor concept smartphone on December 7

By John Callaham

honor-india

honor-india

Huawei is getting ready to launch its own concept smartphone, which it will release under the Honor brand. The phone is scheduled to be officially revealed on Wednesday, December 7.

See also:

Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 hands on: the dream machine

November 4, 2016

Of course, the speculation has already started on just what this concept phone will be like. GizmoChina reports many of the rumors surrounding the device claim it won’t have some of the standard smartphone components, such as a camera or a speaker. Instead, those parts will reportedly be offered as accessories for the Honor concept phone. If true, this product could be a modular phone similar to Lenovo’s Moto Z family.

Other online reports claim that it will have a curved display, provided by Samsung. Finally, the Honor concept phone is supposed to incorporate Huawei’s own fast charging battery technology, which is supposed to provide the phone with a 50 percent battery charge in just five minutes. It’s possible that the Honor phone will only be made available in Huawei’s home country of China in limited quantities.

It will be interesting to see how this Honor branded phone compares with the rival Xiaomi Mi MIX. That phone, which was also labeled as a “concept” when it launched in China earlier this year, has a 6.4-inch display with a near-bezel free design as its main feature.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Google Play Movies officially adds over 125 UHD 4K films to its library

By John Callaham

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google-play-movies-and-tv-aa

A few weeks after they accidentally started appearing for some users, Google has now officially flipped the switch on UHD 4K film support in Google Play Movies. Users can purchase or rent access to over 125 movies in 4K resolution from the app.

See also:

Chromecast Ultra announced: 4K video streaming, HDR and more for $69

October 4, 2016

At the moment, support for these higher resolution films is supported only by 4K TVs if they have the Chromecast Ultra dongle attached, along with Sony’s Bravia televisions with Android TV. Google is offering a free Ghostbusters UHD 4K rental with the purchase of the Chromecast Ultra from now until December 31.

google-play-movies-4k

google-play-movies-4k

If you are thinking that prices for these 4K movies will be higher than SD or HD films, you would be correct. Older 4K films are priced at $24.99 to own, with $29.99 for more recent releases. Google is using its own VP9 codec for the 4K movies in Google Play. At the moment, they are only available in the U.S. and Canada, but it’s likely they will expand to other territories in the months to come.

Google also announced that all the 2016 models of Samsung’s Smart TVs will include the Google Play Movies and TV app. That means any films rented or purchased from the app can be viewed on those televisions.

Get it at Google Play
…read more

Source:: android authority

    

U.S. Supreme Court sides with Samsung in patent fight with Apple

By John Callaham

samsung-logo-mwc-big

samsung-logo-mwc-big

The long and bloody court battle between Samsung and Apple over design patents took yet another turn today. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8-0 that Samsung does not have to pay $399 million to Apple, overturning an earlier appeals court ruling in this case.

See also:

Samsung officially takes the Apple Patent case to the Supreme Court

December 14, 2015

This case started in 2011 when Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung, claiming the Korean company had violated its design and other patents for its iPhone on many of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones. In 2012, a jury ruled in Apple’s favor, stating Samsung must pay $930 million in damages. In 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the jury’s verdict, but also ruled the iPhone’s appearance could not be protected through trademarks, and cut Samsung’s payment down to $548 million, which it paid Apple in December of that year,

However, Samsung decided to take the case to the Supreme Court. Today all of the Justices ruled that patent violators, like Samsung in this case, don’t have to give up all the profits of their device that is infringing on patents, if the violations are just for specific components in that product.

The battle between the two tech titans is not over yet. The Supreme Court has now sent the matter back to the lower courts to see if they can decide what specific patents, and what amount of money, should be considered in this case. In other words, get ready for more legal briefs and court documents to come in this legal slug fest.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Google Pixel and Pixel XL get VoLTE support for Reliance Jio with Android 7.1.1 update

By Abhishek Baxi

google pixel xl initial review aa (42 of 48) unboxing featured

google pixel xl initial review aa (42 of 48) unboxing featured

The Pixel and Pixel XL snagged the Android 7.1.1 update this week, which also brought the much-requested VoLTE support for the smartphones in India.

After the public release of Reliance Jio, and the free run for initial customers, Jio has acquired over 50 million subscribers already, and as a 4G-only carrier, Jio only supports voice calls over LTE. Hence, there was considerable interest in the feature, but the Pixel and Pixel XL devices sold in India did not have VoLTE support as yet.

google-pixel-volte-screenshots

google-pixel-volte-screenshots

With the latest update though, you can now make voice calls over LTE. In the Network settings, you can now enable the Enhanced 4G LTE Mode which allow users to Use LTE services to improve voice and other communications. Once enabled, the ‘HD’ symbol in the status bar on the top indicates that VoLTE is enabled.

The Android Nougat 7.1.1 OTA update comes bundled with the December security updates and is available across entire Nexus line-up as well as the Pixel devices.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Latest Google app update will now separate news from upcoming events

By John Callaham

google-news-feed

google-news-feed

Google is making a small yet significant change to its Google app for Android. The company will begin rolling out an update to the app today that will break up the info into two tabs; one for news and trending topics and the other for any upcoming personal events you have on your schedule.

See also:

The best job search apps for Android

3 days ago

The news feed will be the default tab in the updated Google app. It will offer users a customized brief on the news they care about, including the latest sports scores, entertainment gossip, and more. Google will begin adding a card in the news feed for U.S. users that will allow them to pick specific topics they’re interested in seeing in the search app.

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The upcoming events tab will be designed to give users a chance to check their calendar for upcoming meetings and events, along with items like the latest travel time estimate for the office. It will also give out info like when your package is supposed to be delivered, when your busy holiday flight is scheduled to depart and more.

It’s interesting that Google has decided to refresh its app so that it can become more of a one-stop shop for all of a person’s daily interests and events. The update is rolling out starting today on Android, and iOS users can expect the same update to arrive in the near future.

Get it from Google Play
…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Supreme Court rules in favor of Samsung in patent dispute with Apple

By Evan Selleck

Apple and Samsung have been in a constant back-and-forth for years in the court systems, disputing patent infringements and damages owed. Last year, Samsung filed an official appeal with the United States Supreme Court to dispute the damages it owed Apple over a previous ruling, and now the Supreme Court has delivered its decision on the matter.

It’s a unanimous one at that, with the court ruling 8-0 in Samsung’s favor. The court agreed with Samsung’s argument that the damages should not be based on the entire device, but rather only on specific parts of it, which could reduce damages owed.

As a result, Samsung’s case with Apple will find its way to a lower federal circuit court, and there the damages will be recalculated based on the new decision. That means Samsung has a chance to get back the $339 million it agreed to pay Apple previously, or that the damages could simply be lowered by some measurable number.

It’s a big win for Samsung, because they will more than likely not have to hand over as much money as previously decided.

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

ASUS Zenfone 3 Deluxe review

By Lanh Nguyen

ASUS made quite a splash in January last year with the mid-range Zenfone 2, with the device offering impressive specifications and features that were coupled with a very budget-friendly price tag. This is a practice that has becoming increasingly common since then, with a lot of OEMs jumping on the “high quality, affordable price” bandwagon, and has also become a growing trend in the flagship space as well.

This year, ASUS has released a high-end Deluxe edition along with the two mid-range Zenfone 3 variants, to better compete in this growing smartphone category. Is ASUS’ latest flagship offering a compelling option in the face of stiff competition? We find out, in this comprehensive ASUS Zenfone 3 Deluxe!

Design

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Expectations are high when a word like “Deluxe” is tacked on to the name of a device, and the ASUS Zenfone 3 Deluxe does deliver in terms of design. As expected from a flagship smartphone, the build quality of this device is fantastic, and unlike its mid-range siblings that utilize a metal and glass construction, the Deluxe edition features a full metal unibody design.

Chamfered edges around the front and back, a sloping, curved back, and rounded corners and sides all make for a device that provides a smooth and comfortable feel in the hand. It is fairly thin, with a thickness of just 7.5 mm, which gives it a sleek look, but even more impressive is the fact that the Zenfone 3 Deluxe features a truly full metal construction.

asus-zenfone-3-deluxe-review-7-power-button

You won’t find any plastic antenna lines as is seen with every other smartphone with a metal body, and ASUS claims that this is the first smartphone to achieve this. This choice doesn’t seem to inhibit the phone’s ability to pick up a wireless signal, which makes you wonder why we haven’t seen this already, especially from much larger OEMs.

Like previous Zenfone devices, you will notice ASUS’ signature pattern of concentric circles above the display, on the bottom chin, and along the power button and volume rocker that are both located on the right side. Up top is the headphone jack, and at the bottom are the USB Type-C port and a single speaker unit. On the left side is the SIM and microSD card combination slot.

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The devices uses capacitive navigation keys, but instead of embedding a fingerprint scanner into the capacitive home button up front, ASUS decided to keep the sensor on the back. The fingerprint scanner features a thin rectangular design which is unlike the circle or square sensors that we are used to seeing with other smartphones.

Display

asus-zenfone-3-deluxe-review-16-screen

The Zenfone 3 Deluxe comes with a large 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with a 1080p resolution. This screen is not going to stack up to a Quad HD display in terms of sharpness, particularly if you are planning to use this phone for VR, but it certainly more than gets the job done and actually looks really great.

You get bright and vibrant colors, excellent viewing angles, high contrast, and deep, inky blacks, which are expected features of a Super AMOLED display. The large display makes it the perfect size for playing games and watching videos and movies. It also comes with some handy features that are becoming increasingly common, including a blue light filter, and the ability to tweak the display and color settings to have the screen look the way you want it.

Performance

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Under the hood, the Zenfone 3 Deluxe comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor that is backed by the Adreno 530 GPU and a whopping 6 GB of RAM. This is the processing package that powers the majority of 2016 flagships, plus more RAM than the standard, so unsurprisingly, performance isn’t an issue with the smartphone.

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<img width="300" height="533" src="http://cdn03.androidauthority.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/ASUS-Zenfone-3-Deluxe-screenshots-8-300×533.jpg" alt="asus-zenfone-3-deluxe-screenshots-8" srcset="http://cdn01.androidauthority.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/ASUS-Zenfone-3-Deluxe-screenshots-8-300×533.jpg 300w, http://cdn01.androidauthority.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/ASUS-Zenfone-3-Deluxe-screenshots-8-768×1365.jpg 768w, http://cdn01.androidauthority.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/ASUS-Zenfone-3-Deluxe-screenshots-8-840×1493.jpg 840w, http://cdn01.androidauthority.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/ASUS-Zenfone-3-Deluxe-screenshots-8-9×16.jpg 9w, http://cdn01.androidauthority.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/ASUS-Zenfone-3-Deluxe-screenshots-8-18×32.jpg …read more

Source:: android authority

    

It’s official: Xiaomi won’t launch a flat screen version of the Mi Note 2

By Mitja Rutnik

xiaomi-mi-note-2-hands-on-first-look-aa-18

xiaomi-mi-note-2-hands-on-first-look-aa-18

Back in October, Xiaomi launched a high-end smartphone by the name of Mi Note 2. Suitable for more demanding users, the Mi Note 2 features the Snapdragon 821 processor, 4/6 GB of RAM, a 22.5 MP camera with an f/2.0 aperture and the option of either 64 or 128 GB of storage. But what makes it stand out is its 5.7-inch 1080p AMOLED display that is curved on both sides, just like the one found on the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.

About a month ago, we reported that Xiaomi might release another edition of the Mi Note 2 with a flat screen. The device was spotted on TENAA — the Chinese equivalent of the FCC — and we were hoping that it would hit the market eventually. But unfortunately, it has now been confirmed that the device will not see the light of day: Zang Zhiyuan, Xiaomi’s marketing director, made the announcement recently on the company’s official blog.

See also:

Hugo Barra: “Xiaomi could sell 10 billion smartphones and not make a profit”

2 weeks ago

Xiaomi’s fans probably aren’t too happy with the news, as a lot of them were expecting to see the smartphone launch soon. By offering a version with a flat screen, the Chinese manufacturer would probably be able to sell the device at a lower price point when compared with the curved screen model, which retails for around the equivalent of $410 (4 GB RAM) and $480 (6 GB RAM) in China, by today’s exchange rates.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Would you like to see a flat screen version of the Mi Note 2 hit the market? As always, let us know down below.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Samsung Galaxy S8 said to drop the headphone jack

By Evan Selleck

Throughout the year, we’ve seen the likes of Motorola, HTC, and other companies decide that getting rid of the 3.5mm headphone jack is the right way to go.

While there are holdouts, like the Google Pixel phones and Samsung’s now-unavailable Galaxy Note 7, it looks like Samsung wants to join the rest of the pack in 2017. According to a report from SamMobile, Samsung is planning on dropping the 3.5mm headphone jack altogether in the Galaxy S8, in favor of a wireless — and USB Type-C — future.

The other big reveal from the report is probably the least surprising. Samsung is said to be switching to the USB Type-C standard in the Galaxy S8, which will be used for charging the device and listening to music.

On top of that, today’s report also states Samsung will drop the physical home button this time around and integrate a fingerprint reader into its 2K resolution display. Samsung will keep its AMOLED display around, but the report also says the company will switch from the PenTile layout, which should improve the overall sharpness in next year’s flagship.

Based on the rumors, what do you think of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S8? Are you holding out for one?

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

Snooper’s Charter: What you need to know about the UK’s new surveillance laws

By Scott Adam Gordon

lock screen lockscreen security

lock screen lockscreen security

The Investigatory Powers Act 2016, known colloquially as the Snooper’s Charter, is the UK’s new surveillance scheme which grants more power to police and other services to investigate online activity. The legislation was recently passed by the House of Lords and House of Commons, and is now legally binding, despite criticism that it would undermine the population’s right to privacy. Below are some key details about the bill.

What is the Snooper’s Charter?

The Snooper’s Charter is a UK surveillance initiative which provides more authority to government departments to investigate greater amounts of online data.

The legislation stipulates that internet providers and phone companies must collect and store customer browsing data for 12 months and allow police and other authorities to access it. This would involve internet service providers holding records of when, where and which websites have been accessed, and by whom.

Additionally, security services and the police will be granted further power to hack into individuals’ computers and phones, including the ability to download information, and install software to trace individual characters typed, if provided with a warrant.

How will the Snooper’s Charter affect me?

In terms of day-to-day online experience, the Snooper’s Charter is unlikely to affect how the internet is used and online content consumed. To be clear, that is not to say that the changes won’t have a far-reaching impact, only that those using the internet are unlikely to encounter a difference in how it operates.

The key impact it will have on UK citizens is their loss of privacy. While the legislation doesn’t allow the government to access the content of individual messages sent or web pages accessed, it does provide access to the metadata, which many argue can still be used to identify details about a person’s private life.

Additionally, it’s said that security services could be called upon to hack an individual’s phone to eavesdrop on conversations and that attempts could be made to decrypt encrypted messages, in special cases. The individual wouldn’t necessarily have to be suspected of criminal activity for this to occur either.

See also:

15 best Android VPN apps

October 28, 2016

Can I avoid the surveillance measures?

Using a private VPN network will put a step between you and others who may attempt to monitor your online activity (government bodies or otherwise) – but none of the commercial VPNs available are truly anonymous and untraceable. Likewise, anonymity network Tor is often recommended as a free way to keep your online activity private, however, there are still questions over how secure this is also.

Should the government wish to investigate an individual it may be difficult for them to avoid complete scrutiny simply through use of a service like Tor or a VPN – but these are likely the best options for now. It also bears noting that visitors to the UK will also be affected, as roaming data will also be logged and recorded because it occurs on local networks.

How have people responded to the Snooper’s Charter?

Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the world wide web, said that the Snooper’s Charter has “No place in a modern democracy – it undermines our fundamental rights online,” while NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden decried it as “The most intrusive and least accountable surveillance regime in the West.”

In its defence, UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “The government is clear that, at a time of heightened security threat, it is essential our law enforcement and security and intelligence services have the power they need to keep people safe. The internet presents new opportunities for terrorists and we must ensure we have the capabilities to confront this challenge. But it is also right that these powers are subject to strict safeguards and rigorous oversight.”

As of the time of writing, an online petition to repeal the law has accrued more than 150,000 signatures.

When will the Snooper’s Charter come into effect?

The previous bill, the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (DRIPA), must first be replaced and the Home Office has stated that some of the provisions in the bill will require extensive testing. The new Investigatory Powers Act likely won’t come into full effect until 2017.

What are your thoughts on the Snooper’s Charter? Is it a necessary security measure in the modern age or an abuse of privacy and freedom? Give us your thoughts in the comments.

…read more

Source:: android authority