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The Apple Watch hand washing feature is coming — dirt and filth, beware

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Wow, what a WWDC that was! We had confirmation of picture-in-picture video for iPhonesa redesigned homescreen across devices, and a whole new way of interacting with the iPad.

And — who, really, could possibly forget? — an Apple Watch hand washing feature.

You heard that right: no longer will you have to sing Happy Birthday or other equally irritating songs (though that decision rests with you) to protect yourself from filth and coronavirus. Instead, your fancy Apple wearable will do the dirty work.

Well, okay, it’s not going to actually wash your hands for you, but it is going to automatically give you a countdown while you do the deed.

And yes, you read that right, automatically.

Your Apple Watch will use motion sensing and sound to recognize when you’re washing your hands, meaning you don’t have to turn the feature on.

The company used machine learning to understand the common movements of hand washing. When this is recognized, the Apple Watch will listen out for the telltale signs of running water and the squishy squelches of soap being squeezed between your fingers.

At that point, a 20-second timer starts — something that’ll look like this:

Apple Watch Hand Washing

Throughout the Apple Watch hand washing process, you’ll also receive haptic notifications (in other words, little taps on your wrist), as well a sound somewhere between a drip and bubble popping as each second passes.

And if you stop washing your hands before the 20 seconds are up? First off, ew. Secondly, you’ll get a notification to keep on washing.

There are some other cool aspects of the Apple Watch hand washing feature. It’ll sync with Apple’s Health app, meaning you’ll be able to track your hand washing times and frequency. Another interesting feature is that the Apple Watch will remind you to wash your hands when you’ve returned home.

On the privacy front, none of the sounds used to start the Apple Watch hand washing function will be recorded — which should help ease the mind of many.

Yeah, you could argue that the this feature is a little nanny-ing — and you wouldn’t be wrong — but you can always take the damn thing off. And me? Anything that makes washing my hands more fun is fine and dandy.

Bring on watchOS 7.

Source: https://thenextweb.com/plugged/2020/06/23/apple-watch-hand-washing-feature-coronavirus-watchos-7-wwdc/

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The Future

The first HarmonyOS-powered phone from Huawei to arrive in 2021

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Huawei’s HarmonyOS was unveiled last year during the Huawei Developer Conference and there’s a report claiming that this year’s conference on September 10 will bring the HarmonyOS 2.0. Interestingly, the rumor cites Richard Yu himself, the company’s CEO. And the first phone with the in-house operating system will launch as early as next year.

The first HarmonyOS-powered phone from Huawei to arrive in 2021

A smartphone running the said OS already exists and will likely hit the market next year along with a number of new devices including PCs, tablets, smart wearables and other IoT products. In fact, the first smartwatch running HarmonyOS is expected to make a debut until the end of this year.

Source: https://www.gsmarena.com/the_first_harmonyospowered_phone_from_huawei_to_arrive_in_2021-news-45132.php

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The Future

iPhone XR will reportedly be replaced by iPhone 12s in Q2 2021

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Previously, conflicting information had emerged about iPhone XR’s future. We now seemingly know when it will be discontinued and which phone will replace it.

Leaker Komiya claims that after the introduction of the iPhone 12, Apple will stop selling the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max. They also say that the iPhone XR will be taken off the market by the end of the first quarter of 2021.
The tipster says Apple will launch a new model by the name of iPhone 12s in the second quarter of 2021.
As Tom’s Guide points out, Apple used to release S models in the past, but as modest annual upgrades.
If the new rumor has any substance to it, the iPhone 12s will be released a few months after the iPhone 12 goes on sale. Speaking of which, don’t expect the new models this month. A recent report has corroborated claims about an October release. Even the latest leak hints at the same.

The iPhone 12s will supposedly be LTE-only

Back to the iPhone 12s, it could be the rumored 4G-only iPhone 12. According to earlier forecasts, this variant will be announced in February 2021. This estimate is loosely in line with the alleged Q2 release time frame. After all, if the iPhone 12 launch date has been moved up, Apple might reschedule the release of the 4G model too.
Based on this assumption, the iPhone 12s will retail for $800. We expect it to have more in common with the iPhone 12 Pro than the standard iPhone 12.
Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang had previously claimed that the LTE iPhone 12 won’t have a lot in common with the 5G models. He was also expecting Apple to launch two 4G-only models, but that seems unlikely at the moment.
All the 5G-ready iPhone 12 variants will probably feature the upcoming A14 Bionic chipset and OLED displays. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max will likely come with a dual-camera system, and the Pro modes will have a triple camera setup with a LiDAR depth sensor.
Only the highest-end model is expected to offer mmWave 5G.

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The Future

Samsung, LG experiment with virtual demo rooms of the future amid IFA conference

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Tech events so far this year have made something clear — it’s not tough for giants like Apple and Samsung to go all-virtual with their launches. But one aspect of a typical tech event doesn’t translate to a computer or phones screen: the demo room. Samsung thinks it’s found a possible solution.

The company on Wednesday hosted a virtual Life Unstoppable event that coincided with the IFA electronics show in Berlin. It wasn’t a typical press conference like the company’s two Unpacked events held over the past month. Instead, Samsung used Epic’s Unreal Engine for games to build a virtual, 3D tour experience — a sort of choose-your-own adventure digital demo — for the media and its partners. 

“Would we have done it if COVID wasn’t around? I’m not sure,” Benjamin Braun, Samsung’s head of marketing for Europe, said in an interview. “That is a different way of presenting new products that no one’s done before.” 

The novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 25 million people around the globe, has caused companies to rethink their product launches. GSMA canceled Mobile World Congress, the world’s biggest mobile show, a week before journalists arrived in Barcelona in late February. Instead of phone launches over the past several months, AppleSamsungHuawei and OnePlus all held digital events or introduced devices via press release. 

IFA, taking place in Berlin from Sept. 3 to 5, is the only big tech conference with an in-person component this year. But only 5,000 people can attend, far below last year’s level of 200,000. While Samsung isn’t attending IFA, it’s still hosting events, like Life Unstoppable, that coincide with the shortened convention. 

Samsung’s virtual house

Participants of Life Unstoppable will navigate around a digital house that contains about two dozen different Samsung devices, ranging from its $3,500 waterproof, outdoor Terrace TV to its updated Galaxy Z Fold 2 foldable phone. The visit revolves around a 45-minute guided tour, but participants are able to branch off on their own to look at the back ports of a TV or circle back to the kitchen to check out the appliances

Samsung noted that “every detail,” from the home’s artwork to the furniture’s fabric, “was carefully selected following meticulous research into the type of guests that would be visiting Samsung House, resulting in a truly immersive home environment.”

There’s also an augmented reality component that lets people see what the new products, like TVs, will look like in their own homes. And Samsung noted that immersive 8D audio makes visitors feel like they’re really in the home

During Life Unstoppable, Samsung unveiled a host of new products, ranging from a smart video projector called The Premiere to its Wireless Charging Trio pad that can charge a phone, watch and earbuds at the same time. Samsung also introduced a new fitness band, the Galaxy Fit 2; a low-priced 5G smartphone, the Galaxy A42 5G; and the budget Galaxy Tab A7 tablet. 

While Samsung determined Life Unstoppable was the best format for IFA, Braun said, it may go a different route with CES and other trade shows. 

“We constantly need to force evolution, force innovation, not only in our products but also in the way we present ourselves,” Braun said. “At some point, once COVID is under control and we’re back to potentially physical [events], then we need to rethink them as well. How do we merge the two?”

LG’s ‘virtual exhibition’ and IFA’s ‘Xtended Space’

Samsung isn’t the only company trying to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation by creating a virtual experience for regular show attendees to enjoy in lieu of IFA this year.

On Tuesday, LG launched its IFA “virtual exhibition,” demonstrating its latest product lineups within a realistic rendering of its usual IFA home — the Berlin Messe’s Hall 18. 

First impressions show this to be an improvement to the usual in-person experience. No longer must you spend upwards of 30 minutes attempting to navigate the labyrinthine convention center with its many entrances and exits to reach the LG booth, and gone are the hordes of people that usually delay your journey even further.

But as you click through the virtual exhibition, you start to remember why attending these shows in person was important in the first place. 

The cinema screening room in which you are supposed to be able to enjoy the deep blacks of LG’s latest screen technology doesn’t have quite the same impact when you’re viewing it through your own laptop or phone screen. The same is true when testing the sound quality of LG’s speakers and headphones in its virtual audio booth.

It’s hard to say how cool and effective LG’s rollable TV is without being able to examine it from all angles. Maybe it would help if you could navigate the exhibition in VR, which would allow for a more immersive, less static experience. Samsung said its Life Unstoppable home could be viewed in VR, but it was mostly designed for PCs, phones or tablets

While LG and Samsung are offering their own takes on the virtual trade show, the wider event is also going online this year via a digital platform it’s calling IFA Xtended Space.

All the new phones, laptops, smart home gadgets and more from IFA 2019

samsung-galaxy-fold-58

lenovo-smart-display-7-ifa-2019-12

Through an online hub, virtual attendees will be able to join live streams of keynotes, press conferences, panel sessions, presentations and virtual exhibitor presentations and match-making opportunities that will allow them to establish new business contacts. New products will even be presented in 3D, although it remains to be seen how easy it is to form a proper first impression of new tech without being able to touch it or hold it in your hands.

IFA’s organizers acknowledge that this year’s show won’t replicate the experience most regular attendees are accustomed to, but they believe its digital platform will offer something novel to people — whether they’re using it to supplement their in-person visit to the show, or to attend remotely.

“A digital platform can hardly compensate for a true on-site experience,” IFA Executive Director Jens Heithecker said Tuesday in a press release. “However, the IFA Xtended Space enables all those who are interested to know even more and those who cannot join the IFA 2020 Special Edition physically in Berlin to have a truly unique virtual experience.”

Source: https://www.cnet.com/news/samsung-lg-experiment-with-virtual-demo-rooms-of-the-future-amid-ifa-conference/

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