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For World Emoji Day, the Unicode Consortium redesigns its site to be more user-friendly

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Ahead of World Emoji Day on Wednesday, July 17, Apple and Google announced plans to bring an expanded set of emoji to their respective platforms. Today, the Unicode Consortium, the nonprofit organization responsible for determining which emoji get the green light, is relaunching its website with an updated, modern design that aims to make its information more accessible to the general public.

Before, its website design was very basic — just text and links to various pages about the Consortium itself, the standard, miscellaneous FAQs, projects in progress and other information. It looked like a technical resource, and certainly one that hadn’t been updated in years.

With an outdated layout, ancient social share buttons and boring font choices, it really looked more like an ancient government website than a resource designed for public consumption.

Screen Shot 2019 07 17 at 2.05.49 PM

Above: the old site 

That changes with the redesign. Not only is the site more mainstream-friendly, it more actively encourages participation and involvement from the public.

Unicode  is a global technology standard that is one of the core building blocks of the internet,” said Unicode board member Greg Welch in an announcementabout the changes to the site. “Unicode has helped facilitate the work of programmers and linguists from around the world since the 1990s. But with the rise of mobile devices and public enthusiasm for emoji, we knew it was time to redesign the Unicode website to make information more easily accessible, and increase community involvement,” he says.

Screen Shot 2019 07 17 at 2.08.25 PM

Above: the Emoji section on the new site

Although the Consortium itself is focused more broadly on developing text standards, their work with emoji now gets the most attention. Today, emoji are used by 92% of the world’s online population, which has put the organization into the spotlight, it says.

The updated site was built with help from a team of designers from Adobe, and features a homepage covered in emoji. The main navigation directs visitors to information about emoji, including how to submit a proposal for a new emoji (which is still not a user-friendly a process), as well as information about “adopting” an emoji — that is, a way to offer a tax-deductible donation to the Unicode Consortium while gaining access to a custom badge you can show off on your own website or social media accounts.

There are currently 136,000 emoji available for “adoption,” the organization notes, including the newly announced additions like the sloth, sea otter, waffle and Saturn.

The new site is definitely more attractive and easier to use following the redesign. But for those who miss the classic look, it’s still live at http://unicode.org/main.html. (Often, you’ll hit the old site when you click through links from the new one. The redesign only goes so deep, it seems.)

While the redesign is welcome, people in search of information about their favorite emoji — like, how it looks on different platforms, when it was officially added or what the emoji means, for example — may find the website Emojipediaa better bet.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2019/07/17/for-world-emoji-day-the-unicode-consortium-redesigns-its-site-to-be-more-user-friendly/

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HUAWEI WON’T LAUNCH SMARTPHONE WITH HARMONY OS UNLESS…

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Although Huawei has officially launched the Harmony OS (Hongmeng). In fact, it’s been developed to Android OS on its smartphones. However, Huawei still emphasizes that the company is committed to staying in the eco-platform of Google. Recently, the Chinese communications and smartphone manufacturing giant said that there is no plan to launch a smartphone based on its self-developed system.

The above statement was made by Vincent Yang, senior vice president of Huawei, in a media event in New York on Wednesday. He pointed out that ‘we hope to maintain a set of standards and a set of ecology… Harmony OS is the company’s Plan B.”

Image result for harmonyos mate

This means that if the US continues to implement the ban and even refuses Huawei to acquire key components of the Android system including GMS and Play Store, then Harmony will play a preventive role.

According to Huawei, the amount of code in Harmony OS is much lower than that of Android. In addition to TV, Huawei is preparing to use it in smartwatches, in-car products and so on.

In addition, Yang hinted that Huawei’s next new flagship machine (which is widely believed to be the Mate 30 series) still runs the Android system. As for the switch to their OS, it will only happen at the last moment when the company is forced to disable Android.

WHEN WILL HUAWEI LAUNCH A SMARTPHONE RUNNING ON HARMONY OS?

According to Yang, Huawei currently has no plans to launch the smartphone running their own OS. But if the US maintains the ban, the situation may change.

P.S. Earlier, we have heard the first smartphone to come with this system will be the Mate 30 Lite. But now, after the statement of Huawei executive, there is no reason to think so. Although, in the case of Huawei, everything is possible.

Source: https://www.gizchina.com/2019/08/22/huawei-wont-launch-smartphone-with-harmony-os-unless/

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Facebook loses Oculus executive who led its mobile VR efforts

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Another Oculus executive who played a key role in Facebook’s VR efforts is leaving the company. Just a few days ago, Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell headed for the exit — now, Variety has revealed that Max Cohen, Oculus’ head of mobile, is also peacing out. While Facebook refused to give the publication an official statement, Cohen’s LinkedIn page confirms his departure. His current position says he’s an “explorer” who’s “learning new skills.”

Cohen joined Oculus as VP of mobile just a few weeks before Facebook’s acquisition and headed up several projects over the years. He led the Gear VR program and Oculus’ Samsung partnership, and he also led the development of the standalone Oculus Go VR headset. In addition, he started the Oculus Quest program, which spawned a standalone headsetthat’s able to play desktop-quality VR games.

What Cohen’s departure means for Oculus remains to be seen. As Varietynoted, Facebook is holding the Oculus Connect developer conference on September 25th and 26th. The social network is expected to reveal its virtual and augmented reality plans, so we’ll most likely hear about some of the projects Oculus is working on during the event.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/08/21/facebook-loses-oculus-head-of-mobile-vr/

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Samsung Beats Apple As AirPods Face Embarrassing Defeat

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If you are looking for the best wireless earbuds for your phone’s music, then Samsung is going to be very quick to point out that its Galaxy Buds have picked up the first ‘excellent’ rating for sound quality by a wireless device. Meanwhile Apple is going to be licking its wounds as the AirPods sit in a lowly 49th place in the same chart.

Galaxy Buds charge wirelessly atop an S10 phone during the Samsung Unpacked product launch event in San Francisco, California on February 20, 2019 (Photo by Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty Images)

Galaxy Buds charge wirelessly atop an S10 phone during the Samsung Unpacked product launch event in San Francisco, California on February 20, 2019 (Photo by Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty Images) GETTY

The rankings come from Consumer Reports’ study of the market, and it picks out a number of key features. Kim Eun-jin reports for Business Korea:

The Galaxy Buds were ranked first with 86 points, while AirPods, which are used by about 60 percent of wireless earphone users, came in 49th with 56 points.

Consumer Reports ranked the wireless earphones based on an evaluation of their sound quality and designs.

In terms of sound quality, only the Galaxy Buds received the “Excellent” grade. Consumer Reports said that the Galaxy Buds were one of the first portable Bluetooth earphones to achieve the highest sound quality grade.

The first is the aforementioned sound quality. Given the AirPods hang in the ear in the exact same way as a brick designed to look like Douglas Adams does not, and the Galaxy Buds fill the outer ear with optional ‘wings’ this should not come as a huge surprise to anyone who has experienced both.

Power was also highlighted. Not only do the Galaxy Buds offer more battery capacity with the six hours of advertised audio time reachable, the carry case (which tops up to allow for another seven hours) comes with wireless charging as standard.

Finally there’s the price. Once you pick and mix from Apple’s options to build a similar package of AirPods to the Buds, you realise that Samsung’s package significantly cheaper.

North Rhine-Westphalia, Cologne: A man wears AirPods, Apple's wireless headphones in his ears (Photo by Rolf Vennenbernd/picture alliance via Getty Images)

North Rhine-Westphalia, Cologne: A man wears AirPods, Apple’s wireless headphones in his ears (Photo by Rolf Vennenbernd/picture alliance via Getty Images) GETTY

The report also acknowledges that Apple is the market leader here with sixty percent of the wireless earbuds market. As with most Apple products, you don’t have full feature parity, and what you do you have is more expensive than the competition.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ewanspence/2019/08/19/samsung-galaxy-buds-vs-apple-airpods-wireless-headphones-best-winner-loser/#41384d6163e3

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