It’s rare that you see a Microsoft Surface device being promoted without its Surface Pen. It’s a key feature that is talked up regularly by the Surface team, and it’s one area ripe for innovation. The latest details show work continues to make a more intelligent Pen.
“…Microsoft says the stylus still uses a vibrating tip to determine when the contact with a surface occurs. The patented Surface Pen also comes with a capsule that is designed to minimize the motion of the shaft and the shaft runs parallel to the length of the stylus.
“The tip has two antennas and one is connected to the shaft using a track made of metal material. There’s also a transmitter located in its tip and it can detect the position of the stylus tip, and then quickly switch to inking mode.”
Microsoft’s Surface vision has always been built around different modes of working. Think of the Surface Pro 2-in-1s with their detachable keyboards that allowed for a tablet experience with and without qwerty input. Think of the Surface Book’s outstanding feature of a laptop with a fully detachable screen? Even in the Surface Laptop, which doesn’t have a physical transformation you can still move between pen input and trackpad movements. Surface is about multiple modes, and switching between them quickly and easily.
That includes the Surface Pen. It has two modes of use. The first is the more traditional stylus-based approach to computing, replicating the ideas of a mouse or trackpad in operation. The second mode is inking mode, where your artistic flair can take over.
Allowing the Surface Pen to better understand when to switch modes, to decrease the delay in switching modes, and to create a ‘magical’ experience mixing stylus- and inking-modes, is a natural next step for Microsoft to address.
As always, a published patent does show the direction a company is taking with hardware development, but it does not guarantee that this technology will be seen on consumer devices. But some patents heel more likely to show up than others. This one feels like something we’ll be seeing in the near future.
Facebook and Instagram are getting Vanish Mode in chats
Ten days ago WhatsApp got Disappearing Messages and now the other two apps with messaging abilities in the Facebook family are adopting it. Both Messenger and Instagram will get Vanish Mode which will delete messages upon closing the conversation window.
Vanish Mode is activated with a swipe from the bottom of the chat. Once a message is sent, it will stay on the screen until it is turned off or the app is switched. Of course, you can always screenshot the message before it disappears.
The new feature will work both in group chats and personal conversations. While they are instantly disappearing, Facebook revealed conversations can be reported, meaning they will remain in the system for up to 14 days, so they are not instantly deleted.
Such features aren’t entirely new in the Facebook universe – there still is “Secret Conversation” for Messenger but it is rather tedious to set up and use and nobody has the time for that. Instagram also has something of a disappearing feature – currently, photos can be sent and set up to disappear once seen but nothing on messages unless you Unsend them.
Kuo: New iPhone SE unlikely to be announced in the first half of 2021
Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is out with a new investor note today in which he says that Apple is unlikely to release a new version of the iPhone SE until the second half of 2021 at the earliest. This comes as the iPhone SE introduced in April continues to sell well and as Apple focuses on the iPhone 12 lineup.
Today’s investor note from Kuo focuses primarily on the prospects of Apple supplier Genius Electronic Optical. The company is said to be relying on a new iPhone SE during the first half of 2021 to boost its growth, but Kuo says we shouldn’t expect such an announcement.
This would seemingly mean that, if an updated version of the iPhone SE is coming at all in 2021, we shouldn’t expect to see it until the second half of the year. Kuo has previously reported that a 5.5-inch version of the new iPhone SE would come in the second half of 2021 at the earliest as well.
Kuo also says in today’s research that the iPhone 13 is on track to be released during the second half of next year. This comes after a previous report from Kuo suggested that Apple has several improvements in store for the iPhone 13 camera.
Smartphone camera to Chromebook models!
The button has been pressed for new Chromebook models with MediaTek processor. We recently reported that this company is working on a new processor to be a competitor of Snapdragon 865.
We know that ARM-based processors signed by MediaTek are preferred in some Chromebook devices. We learned that the Taiwanese team will use their experience in this field to compete with Apple’s MacBook models.
New Chromebook models with MediaTek processor are coming
According to the information received, two new processors will be produced. The first processor will be the MT8912. The other processor will take its place in the market as MT8915. MediaTek said these processors would be ambitious in digital audio with an ultra-low power level.
It is stated that users can open their own laptop with their own voice and help Google’s voice assistant. It is also said that these chipsets will be functional in HDR image processing technology and camera configurations.
Thus, it has been suggested that Chromebook manufacturers can place cameras designed for smartphones into these devices. If this project, which is possible on paper, is implemented, the cameras of the Chromebook models will be extremely capable.
It was announced that MT8195 will be produced with a 6 nm fabrication process. This hardware will contain 8 cores and will have big.LITTLE architecture. MT8195 will be accompanied by 4 ARM Cortex-A78 (high performance oriented) and 4 ARM Cortex-A55 (focused on low power consumption).
MT8192 will host 4 ARM Cortex-A76 and 4 ARM Cortex-A55. ARM Mali G57 will provide the day that both processors need on the graphics side.
Other features such as 4K HDR video decoder, PCI-Express Gen 3 and USB 3.2 Gen 1 will also increase the functionality of these processors.