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GOOGLE PIXEL 3 AND COMPUTATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: HOW SOFTWARE IS DRIVING THIS CHANGE

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Google’s camera team executive Marc Levoy think that software-driven approach is the new trend when it comes to improving smartphone photography.

There is a general move towards software-defined camera on smartphones, rather than just relying on fixed hardware, according to Marc Levoy, distinguished engineer at Google and currently leading the team responsible for modes like HDR+, portrait mode on the Pixel smartphones.

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Hardwares

Huawei EMUI 9 with Android 9 Pie rolls out to Huawei P10, Mate9

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There’s a lot of uncertainty swirling around Huawei at the moment and it goes beyond whether it’ll be able to make new phones in the future. Even now, owners of its existing phones are worried about the company’s capabilities to continue supporting existing phones. As if to reassure its customers, Huawei is now boasting how its EMUI 9 Android Pie experience is now on more than 80 million devices. What’s more, it’ll be rolling out to the Huawei P10 and even the Huawei Mate 9.

We’ll spare you from having to perform manufacturers’ odd math. Both running on the HiSilicon Kirin 960 chip, the Huawei P10 launched in early 2017 and the Mate 9 launched even further back in late 2016. By usual market standards, the phones are quite old. By usual OEM practices, they wouldn’t even be getting any updates at all.

And yet Huawei is boasting how it’s making EMUo 9 available to these two phones, giving them Android 9 Pie when some of their contemporaries have yet to receive it, if at all. So far, the update has only been made available to a few phone series, starting with the Mate 10 and P20, the Mate RS, and the Nova 3.

The announcement is also a show of power and force. Huawei boasts EMUI 9 will be reaching more than 100 million devices by the end of the month, revealing how many of its phones there are in the wild, not counting Honor devices. It is also trying to prove that, contrary to public perception, it can push out massive updates of its own.

Some might also see it as Huawei’s parting gift and haste. By making sure its older phones are running on the latest Android version, it gives itself more time to polish its “ArkOS” replacement. And by rushing to push the update before the month ends, it gives itself enough time to make those massive changes before the 90-day reprieve is up.

Source: https://www.slashgear.com/huawei-emui-9-with-android-9-pie-rolls-out-to-huawei-p10-mate9-05579418/

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Hardwares

Apple’s Radical New iPhone Suddenly Takes Shape

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Apple has three new iPhones coming later this year and their contentious designs are already well known. But the company is also openly working on a far more ambitious device to counter the folding smartphone trend, and Apple’s most ambitious iPhone to date is now quickly taking shape. 

Apple is working hard to develop a folding iPhone (concept pictured)

Apple is working hard to develop a folding iPhone (concept pictured) WWW.FOLDABLE.NEWS

Spotted by the ever-alert Patently Apple, the US Patent and Trademark Office has this week granted Apple new patents for a “foldable cover and display for an electronic device.” And helpfully, it reveals both how Apple will do it and the radical folding configurations it is considering.

We learn Apple’s work centres on creating a display which has a flexible region and a cover layer using ceramics, such as toughened glass or sapphire. This is a step up from anything we have seen from Samsung and Huawei’s flexible devices, which simply use plastic panels (the former is suffering for that mistake already).

Moreover, with its alternative approach, Apple shows it is possible to build significantly more radical folding form factors than the phones we have seen to date, possibly due to increased structural integrity. Yes, the standard fold is indeed shown but Apple also illustrates radical dual and triple folding designs.

Traditional and radical folding form factors from Apple's new folding display patent

Traditional and radical folding form factors from Apple’s new folding display patent PATENTLY APPLE

And, if you were left in any doubt about Apple’s intentions, it is worth noting this is just the latest in a flurry of folding iDevice patents the company has submitted over the last year. Including one which reveals subtle heating below the display so the bend doesn’t stiffen or crack in cold weather. As usual, Apple isn’t first into the ring but it looks ready to make a big splash on arrival.

When can we expect to see the so-called iPhone Fold? While the first folding phones have already hit the market, sadly Apple’s 2019 iPhones are not that interesting. There will be a major iPhone redesign in 2020, which may prove a more likely timeframe but, as all Apple fans know, the real answer is: When it’s ready.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2019/05/29/apples-iphone-fold-new-iphone-upgrade-iphone-xs-max-xr/#1a24b1382afa

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Hardwares

Google Unveils Affordable Pixel Phone, Latest Android Update

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Google has unveiled new hardware and services at its annual I/O developer’s conference, including a more affordable Pixel smartphone, a new generation of the Google Assistant and a beta version of the latest version of Android Q.

Enhancements to services such as search, maps, Assistant and Google Lens also stress a growing focus on visual features, such as 3D images and live captioning as well as increased privacy and location controls for Google users.

For hardware, Google introduced the new Pixel 3a smartphone, its first affordable model since switching to the Pixel branding and a new player in the growing ‘premium mid-range’ segment.

Offering the premium camera features of the previous Pixel generation, an OLED display and 18W charger, the Pixel 3a is available in black, white and light purple in the Google Store in the US and several other countries.

As with previous models, the new phone is designed to show off features of Google services. This time it will come with a preview of AR in maps, to overlay directions and other info on the map view.

This is part of a growing use of AR in Google services, such as the Lens app on phones, and also now in Google search, with 3D images.

Later in the year the Pixel will get the “next-generation” Assistant, as Google calls it. The biggest advancement here is on-device speech processing, so the Google Assistant no longer needs to send requests back to a data centre and can operate much faster.

This also means the Assistant can run continuously, processing multiple consecutive tasks without the need to repeat ‘Hey Google’ before each command.

Google is also integrating the Assistant more with Duplex, its live AI conversation platform presented at I/O last year.

Called Duplex on the web, the new feature will allow the Assistant to complete online tasks for users, such as booking reservations.

Duplex on the web will be available later this year in English in the US and UK on Android phones with the Assistant for rental car bookings and movie tickets.

Other new features coming to the Assistant include a driving mode, including integration with Waze, and incorporating more personal references and information to respond better to individual users.

In addition to the new smartphone, Google presented a new smart speaker with display.

Source: https://www.independent.ng/google-unveils-affordable-pixel-phone-latest-android-update/

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