New Products Technology

Google starts to roll out ‘Quick Phrases’ feature

Washington [US]: Google Assistant will soon be able to respond to certain phrases without requiring that you say the wake phrase “Hey, Google”.As per GSM Arena, ‘Quick Phrases’ is now rolling out to a Google Pixel 3 XL that was running the Android 12 Beta. It’s not known whether Android 12 is a requirement for Quick Phrases. It’s worth noting this was also the Google App version 12.39.17.29. The feature needs to be activated from the Google Assistant settings. Once enabled, Google Assistant will listen for certain phrases depending on the context.For example, if an alarm is going off, the Assistant will listen for whether the user says “Stop” or “Snooze” without requiring the user to say “Hey Google”. An incoming call can be answered by just saying “Answer” or rejected by saying “Decline”.Back in September, 9to5Google published a list of commands believes to…

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Google to launch Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro on October 19

Washington [US]: American tech giant Google recently announced that it will launch its new smartphones Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro on October 19, 2021.Google revealed the information through its Twitter handle — Madebygoogle. The company also provided a link to the launch page of Google Pixel 6. The event is scheduled to take place at 10 am PT. As per Indian Standard Time (IST), it will begin at 10:30 pm on 19 October.The launch event can be live-streamed on Google’s official YouTube channel. It can also be watched live on the social media handles of the tech giant.It is possible that we will see the official release date for Android 12 for Pixel devices at this event. So far, Google has only released Android 12 as AOSP but only gave “next few weeks” as a time frame for the Android 12 update for…

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Apple might come out with new MacBook Pro in October

Washington [US]: Tech giant Apple is likely to come out with a new MacBook Pro in October this year.Reportedly, the new laptop will be featuring Apple’s new M1X chip and it is likely, that the chip will come out in two variants, both with 10 CPU cores and with either 16 or 32 GPU cores. Last year, Apple had followed its iPhone launch event with a November event. During the November event, the company launched the first MacBooks with a new, Apple-designed chip, the Apple M1.Apart from this, there are rumours doing the rounds that Apple is also preparing for the launch of new, third-generation AirPods.

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Fairphone launches planet-friendly smartphone with 5-year warranty

Amsterdam [Netherlands] : Fairphone, a company that is known for upending conventional OEMs, has launched its next-generation device, the Fairphone 4, that promises to be an upgradeable, repairable and sustainable smartphone that can be used for many years without any hassle.As per Mashable, the company’s promises and commitment towards ethical sourcing of materials and the right to repair movement is a departure from the big traditional companies like Apple and Samsung. Fairphone 4 uses a similar modular design to the company’s previous models but with more powerful internals, along with a promise of two major Android updates.The software support of the phone will stretch until the end of 2025. The modular design allows the user to repair and modify the phone easily.But what has been the biggest contribution of the company is its commitment to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing smartphones.The philosophy of…

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Samsung to bring digital car keys to its phones

Seoul [South Korea]: After announcing plans for digital car keys in its phones during the Galaxy S21 launch, South Korean tech conglomerate Samsung has finally started to add support for the feature.According to The Verge, Samsung says support for the ultra-wideband (UWB) and NFC-enabled digital car keys will hit South Korea first, and it will only work with one car to start, the all-electric Genesis GV60. On devices that support UWB, which are the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus and Ultra, Note 20 Ultra, and Galaxy Z Fold 2 and 3, Samsung has promised “passive entry,” meaning you can unlock and lock your car without pulling your phone out of your bag or pocket.With your phone nearby, you’ll also be able to start your car and make adjustments to mirrors, seats, and more.The digital keys will be stored in Samsung Pass and protected by an…

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Amazon announces new fitness wearable, health services

Washington [US]: Amazon recently announced a new fitness band and a range of health services to go along with it.As per The Verge, the new USD 79.99 Halo View includes a colour AMOLED display (similar to Fitbit’s Charge 5) and a year of Amazon’s Halo membership, which is required to access the tracker’s more advanced analytics. Amazon is also launching a Halo Fitness service, which provides workout videos similar to Apple Fitness Plus, and Halo Nutrition, which helps you with your meal plan.Amazon is pitching the Halo View as a follow-up to its previous Halo Band fitness tracker, which didn’t include a screen. While the Halo View can gather a ton of biometric data, including heart rate, blood oxygen level, and skin temperature, it won’t be gathering your voice data.Amazon has dropped the microphone that the original Halo used to monitor and analyse your…

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Amazon, Disney collaborate to bring ‘Hey Disney’ custom voice assistant for Echo devices in 2022

Washington [US]: Amazon and Disney have announced a custom voice assistant called ‘Hey Disney’ that’s going to be available on Echo devices installed at Walt Disney resort locations, piggybacking on the skills of Alexa. According to The Verge, ‘Hey Disney’ is ultimately used for customer service inquiries, helping Disney World or Disneyland visitors find answers to park-specific questions. Disney has said this new wake word will “make the Alexa experience more magical.”There was no onstage demo of the assistant, but it seems like it’ll work as one might expect it to. By saying “Hey Disney,” a user can ask it questions like “what time does the park open?”, “where can I get Italian food?”, or use it to request more blankets for their resort room. The ‘Hey Disney’ custom voice assistant is also available for people who aren’t staying in Disney parks. Amazon has…

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Facebook halts plans for ‘Instagram Kids’ app after criticism

Washington [US]: Facebook is pausing the development of Instagram Kids, a version of the photo-sharing application for children under 13.Instagram chief Adam Mosseri announced the news in a blog post, saying that the Facebook-owned company would continue to work on parental-supervised experiences for younger users, reported The Verge. In the blog post and series of accompanying tweets, Mosseri blamed the critics for misunderstanding the purpose of the app.“It was never meant for younger kids, but for tweens (aged 10-12),” he wrote.In a separate tweet, he added that news of the project “leaked way before we knew what it would be. People feared the worst, and we had few answers at that stage. It’s clear we need to take more time on this.”Pausing work on the app comes after a leading publication posted a series of damning reports into Facebook last week.These included a story…

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Twitter to add Topics to Spaces, but with a limited start

Washington [US]: Micro-blogging platform Twitter will now be bringing Topics to Spaces so that hosts can tag their Spaces with up to three relevant Topics. According to The Verge, it’s a small addition to start: there are only 10 Topics to choose from, limited to English, for some people on the Android app. Twitter has said it will expand to iOS and add more Topics and languages soon.The initial 10 Topics, Business and Finance, Music, Sports, Technology, Gaming, World News, Entertainment, Arts and Culture, Home and Family, and Careers, align with the ones that currently exist across Twitter, which people can choose to follow to get related content on their timelines. Adding Topics to Spaces has brought it even closer to how Clubhouse works, with different topics to explore and clubs to join based around those topics. One of the nicer things about Twitter…

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra to have S Pen support

Seoul [South Korea], September 25 : South Korean tech giant Samsung is working on its next S series flagship — the S22 Ultra with the addition of the S Pen slot, which was a mainstay of the Note-series devices.As per GSM Arena, there have been many rumours suggesting that the Galaxy S22 Ultra will have an S Pen slot like the Galaxy Note devices. Recently, another report claimed the same thing – the next Samsung flagship will have a holster for the S Pen instead of having you put it inside a case as the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Galaxy S21 Ultra.It would also enable the inclusion of a sensor that detects when S Pen is inserted into the smartphone or taken out and can be set to trigger certain actions.While this is good news for S Pen fans, who got no new Galaxy…

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Mobile remote launched by Google for Android users

Washington [US]: American technology giant Google has launched a new Google TV feature that will allow users to use their Android mobile devices as remotes for those moments when their streaming box’s wand disappears without a trace.According to The Verge, android mobile remote support for Google TV arrived on Thursday after the company initially announced the feature during Google I/O back in May. A spokesperson told the outlet that the tool will only be available for Android at this time and did not have anything further to share about future iOS support.Support for a mobile remote should be a tremendous help to those users who constantly losing their wands beneath mountains of blankets and pillows, but it should also streamline processes for things like entering long or complicated passwords, search terms and titles to films and series.Google said that beyond just Google TV, support…

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Samsung Electronics to release Galaxy Watch 4 ‘Thom Browne’ limited edition

Seoul [South Korea]: Samsung Electronics has announced that it will sell limited quantities of the ‘Galaxy Watch 4 Classic Thom Browne Edition,’ which was collaborated with Thom Browne.This is the first time that Thom Browne and Samsung Electronics have released a special edition of Galaxy Watch alone. It will receive applications online from 9 am to 6 pm on September 29 on Samsung Electronics’ website, and will decide on buyers through a lottery. The announcement will be made on September 30. The price is 950,000 won. The ‘Galaxy Watch 4 Classic Thom Browne edition’ has a design that transcends time, and presents a perfect harmony between innovation and design by adding Thom Browne’s design sensitivity to the ‘Galaxy Watch 4 Classic’ model that applies a Galaxy Watch’s unique circular bezel.Thom Browne’s signature design is applied from strap to watch face, showing sophisticated and unique…

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Microsoft’s 2021 Surface event: the 7 biggest announcements

Washington [US]: Microsoft wrapped up its Surface event on Wednesday and announced a lot of new devices, including a new flagship laptop.As per The Verge, the event was packed with news — including the redesigned Surface Pro 8, a camera-equipped Surface Duo 2, and even a new flagship laptop that puts a hinge behind the screen. If you were not able to watch the show live, catch up with all of the biggest announcements from the event right here. The products are available for preorder from Wednesday ahead of release on October 5.1. The Surface Pro 8 redesigns the Surface Pro lineMicrosoft’s Surface Pro 8 brings a big redesign to the popular Surface Pro line, with thinner bezels, a larger 13-inch touchscreen, two Thunderbolt 4 ports (meaning no more USB-A port), and more. It also supports the new Surface Slim Pen 2.2. The Surface Laptop Studio…

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OnePlus ‘T’ series not happening this year

Washington [US]: Putting all the speculations to rest, popular smartphone brand OnePlus has confirmed that the company will not launch a ‘T’ series flagship this year, which means the OnePlus 9T and 9T Pro are not happening.As per Mashable India, the move comes as a part of the general OS announcement earlier on Tuesday to set a roadmap for what to expect from a software standpoint. For the unversed, the company has been releasing the ‘T’ series phones as incremental upgrades to their already existing flagship, but this year seems like the company has decided to end the tradition.According to Mashable India, the company claims that there would not be a OnePlus 9T, but there “will be other releases,” which was not clearly mentioned by the company.The rumoured OnePlus 9RT is expected to be an incremental upgrade to the earlier 8T model. It will…

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HP’s new 11-inch tablet comes with flipping webcam

Washington [US]: HP has announced a new 11-inch tablet that appears to be a more or lesss direct competitor to Microsoft’s Surface Go with a couple of interesting tricks.According to The Verge, its 13-megapixel rear-facing camera can flip around the short edge of the display to work as a webcam, which HP claims is a first for a tablet, and also makes it the highest resolution front-facing camera to boot. It is also able to work with its keyboard accessory in either portrait or landscape modes which come in handy since in landscape mode its webcam is on the wrong edge of its 2160 x 1440 IPS display.The tablet also works with HP’s Tilt Pen, and there is a USB-C port for plugging in more accessories as well as charging, alongside a microSD card slot and a fingerprint reader built into its power button.Internally,…

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Amazon sets date for its big fall hardware launch event

Washington [US]: American multinational company Amazon has officially announced the date for its upcoming big fall hardware event. The tech giant has set the launch event to take place on September 28 at 12 pm ET / 9 am PT.According to The Verge, the invite for the event does not disclose any further details regarding what to expect from it, though it did state that there will be “news about our latest Amazon devices, features, and services.” The event will be an invite-only one; hence there won’t be any public live stream.During the past years’ events, Amazon has announced new Echo speakers, updates to Alexa’s software, new Eero routers, updated Ring cameras, and more. The company also tends to announce its more unique and experimental products at its fall event.In the previous years, they have announced the Echo Loop ring, the Echo Frames glasses,…

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Google might have second foldable pixel smartphone in the works

Washington [US], September 20 : Tech giant Google appears to be internally testing a second foldable Pixel smartphone.As per The Verge, the device is said to be under development with the codename ‘Jumbojack’, that’s referenced in a future version of Android 12 identified as ‘Android 12.1’. This is the latest foldable codename we’ve heard about at Google, following reports of another device called ‘Passport’.Not much is known about what form Jumbojack could take, but The Verge has a couple of key details.It seems to have two screens, with one that deactivates when the device is folded. That suggests we’re looking at a similar design to Samsung’s foldables, which combine a small external screen with a larger internal folding display. However, there’s no word on screen sizes or internal specs, reported The Verge.Interestingly, there’s speculation that the Jumbojack codename could be a reference to Jack…

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Leaks suggest Microsoft Surface Pro 8 will have 120Hz display, Thunderbolt support

Washington [US]: American tech giant Microsoft will be launching a new Surface Pro 8 model next week and a new leak of the upcoming device appears to have revealed exactly what to expect from it.According to The Verge, a Twitter user recently published a photo of the Surface Pro 8 from what appears to be a retail listing. The account claimed the Surface Pro 8 will ship with a new 13-inch 120Hz display with narrow bezels and two Thunderbolt ports. Last week, the outlet has reported that the Surface Pro 8 would ship without USB-A ports, in favour of USB-C and Thunderbolt. They also reported that Microsoft has been testing 120Hz displays for the Surface Pro lineup. The leaked image and specs line up with what was heard from sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans.The leak also revealed that Microsoft is moving towards removable SSDs…

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Apple Store goes down in anticipation of iPhone 13 pre-orders

Washington [US]: Folks are already on their toes since the announcement of the latest iPhone series, following which the Apple Store went down in anticipation of the latest gadget’s pre-orders opening day.As per Mashable India, the store will go back live at 8 a.m. ET (5 a.m. PT), when the buyers will be able to pre-order the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max. All the models will be available in the store from Friday, September 24.Not only the smartphones but the new iPad mini and iPad, which were launched in Apple’s California event on Tuesday, were already available for pre-order, and they will also be arriving in stores on September 24.However, the Apple Watch Series 7 models, will be available “later this fall,” according to Mashable India.

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iOS 15, iPadOS 15 releasing tomorrow

Washington [US]: Tech giant Apple is all set to release the iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 final updates for iPhone and iPad, on September 20. Earlier this week, the company had also provided a closer look at the final build of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 with the release of the RC build for developers and public beta testers.As to when Apple will release the final version of the software to everyone, Mashable India says that the users will be able to download and install the full and final version of iOS 15 and iPadOS on September 20. In case to avoid a site crash encounter, it is advised to download the update on time or a little later as going by Apple’s history, its servers get hammered by millions of devices attempting to download the new update. Due to this, Mashable India says…

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Microsoft Office 2021 consumer release to come out in October

Washington [US]: American tech giant Microsoft has launched its next perpetual version of Microsoft Office for commercial customers and has also promised an Office 2021 consumer release on October 5.According to The Verge, Microsoft Office Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) for Windows and Mac has been launched for commercial and government users, providing a locked-in time release of Office that doesn’t require a subscription. Office LTSC has been designed for businesses in regulated industries where processes and apps can’t change on a monthly basis, or for manufacturing plants that rely on Office and want a locked-in time release.It won’t ship with the AI- and cloud-powered features that are found in Microsoft 365, and it won’t receive new features, either. Microsoft will support Office LTSC for five years, and the company has also committed to another perpetual version of Office for the future.The consumer Office…

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Google Pixel Fold tipped to launch this year

Washington [US]: American tech giant Google’s foldable smartphone may come out soon.As per GSM Arena, it has been long rumoured that Google is eyeing to enter the foldable space with its own Pixel foldable phone. A fresh new leak from Senior Director at Display Supply Chain Consultants – David Naranjo reveals a supposed launch date in Q4 2021 for the Google Pixel Fold and suggests the device will use an LTPO OLED display.Google is expected to launch its Pixel 6 series on October 19 and has already provided an early look at the duo’s designs and specs but the Pixel Fold was not mentioned to this point.Q4 takes place between October 1 and December 31 so there is a chance the Pixel Fold could very well be a “one more thing” announcement at the Pixel 6 event or it could launch later this year.Earlier…

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OnePlus 9RT expected to launch on October 15

Shenzhen [China]: Popular smartphone brand OnePlus is expected to launch its new smartphone called OnePlus 9RT in India soon.Last month GSM Arena reported that OnePlus is working on a new member of the OnePlus 9 series, called OnePlus 9RT. The leak claimed that the 9RT, codenamed ‘Martini’, will arrive in October, and that bit is now corroborated by leakster OnLeaks, who revealed that the smartphone’s tentative launch date is October 15. There’s no word from OnePlus about the upcoming smartphone yet, but the previous leak claimed the smartphone will come with a higher-binned version of the Snapdragon 870 SoC, 120Hz AMOLED screen, 4,500 mAh battery, and 65W charging.The OnePlus 9RT will feature a 50MP Sony IMX766 and could be the first OnePlus phone to run Android 12-based OxygenOS 12 out of the box. The 9RT will be limited to the Indian and Chinese markets…

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Xiaomi announces 11-inch Pad 5 tablet

Beijing [China]: Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is returning to Android tablets with the 11-inch Pad 5 after a few years.As per The Verge, the smartphone company recently announced the Xiaomi Pad 5 after the last 8-inch Mi Pad 4, the company launched in 2018. The Xiaomi Pad 5 which is launching in the company’s European markets is an 11-inch tablet with a WQHD+ 120Hz display, quad speakers, 6GB of RAM, and a Snapdragon 860 processor which is the new speed-bumped version of the 855, Qualcomm’s flagship chip from 2019.The tab has a 13-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel sensor on the front.As per The Verge, the new gadget looks like an iPad Pro. It has slim bezels and flat edges to the tablet-specific MIUI customizations like the apps dock. “The build isn’t as solid, and the screen doesn’t quite sit as flush with the…

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