Vivo Announced V15 Pro with Notchless Design and Popup Camera

Vivo is very good at experimenting with the smartphone hardware, and they’ve announced the Vivo V15 Pro smartphone, which has the popup camera and notchless design. Those who are tired with their smartphones with a notch, then you would be happy after seeing this device. It’s the first flagship of the smartphone from Vivo this year. Xiaomi also announced their first flagship smartphone Mi9 today. The device boasts a 6.4 inch notchless OLED Display and the popup selfie camera. The selfie camera is borrowed from Vivo Next smartphone, but as there is no notch and bezel-less display, the popup camera is added in the smartphone.

The pop-up camera has the 32MP sensor that can click stunning selfies in any light conditions. By default, the sensor works as 8MP, but users can crank it up as per their convenience. The rear side has the three camera setup, one has the 48MP sensor, second is the 8MP wide-angle camera, and another is the 5MP depth-sensing camera for photo blurring. All of the front and rear cameras are installed in the single slot, which handles the front popup mechanism.

For most of the Asians, the AI beauty camera feature allows them to use the beauty enhancement filters. The filters add the effects like slimmer waistline, bulkier bustline and fairness effects. The device runs on the Snapdragon 675 chipset from Qualcomm. It’s the first device to run on this chipset from Qualcomm. The fifth-generation components used in the in-display fingerprint sensor make it blazing fast. The sensor identifies the fingerprint in mere milliseconds. Vivo added 3,700 mAh battery in this smartphone. The device will have the configuration of 6GB or 8GB RAM with 128GB of storage, Headphone jack, and software running on Android 9 Pie operating system.

Chrome’s Experimental Feature Preventing Extensions from Establishing Network Connection

Google Chrome’s Version 72 is available for the users, and it comes with one experimental feature. The feature is allegedly breaking the extensions that need the internet connection for working correctly. The service experiment named “Enable Network Service” is a bug that is preventing the third-party extensions from using the network services. The issue is stopping the extensions from working correctly. Most of the popular extensions on Google Chrome like, VPN and Adblock are affected by this issue, and Google is providing the solutions to fix this problem.

The experimental feature is acting like a bug for the Chrome extensions by bypassing their network requests. The “Enable Network Service” is the experimental feature added by Google team to test the separate network services for web requests. But the feature is bypassing the network requests, rendering the extensions useless. Although the fix was super simple and many of the users are advised to follow it, still the problem is present in the Chrome Update 72. According to the sources, Google has fixed the issue right in time before releasing the Chrome Update 73; one more problem is still present in the browser.

Google is testing this feature for a few of the users randomly. That’s why the issue is not widespread and only limited to a few users. The company developers said that they have no intention of removing the test feature as it serves long term benefits. The users who are facing the issues with their Adblockers, VPN and business extensions that integrate with third-party services to disable the “Enable Network Service” from Chrome://Flags menu. As per the details shared by Google, only 0.1% of the total users, which is not the huge number, were used for the experiment and currently facing the same issue.

Microsoft Starts Testing Windows 10 Insider Build 20H1 Well in Advance

Microsoft always tests their upcoming significant updates to Windows 10 with their Insider Build system. The Insider Builds are just the beta build with the new features and bug fixes for the users. Before releasing them to the public, the company tests it with registered inside build testers. Right now, Company has started testing the newer update of the Windows 10, which is expected to release in 2020. It’s not usual for Microsoft to test the new builds well before in advance. That’s why this new test build raises the eyebrows of every tech enthusiasts.

The 2019 major update is codenamed as 19H2 and is not yet out for testing for insider testers. But, the 20H1 which is scheduled to release in 2020 is out for select testers. That means the 20H1 might have drastic changes that Microsoft need to test before they can proceed with a regular testing schedule. According to Microsoft’s Insider Testing Chief Dona Sarkar, the Insider Build 20H1 required additional testing, and that’s why they’ve introduced it before the 2019 test build. The company has not shared any details about the upcoming features as the build is released only to internal testers.

Microsoft is following the schedule to launch a new major update to Windows 10. The Insider build for that update is named 19H1 and 19H2. Currently, 19H1 is available for the testers to download and check for features, but 19H2 is yet to be released by the company. Microsoft’s 2019 Spring Update will be released once the 19H2 testing is complete. The Spring 2019 update for Windows 10 will come with multiple new features like the Light Theme, Kaomoji and also the separate Search bar and Cortana Assistant. To test the updates, users have to enroll for Insider Builds option in Windows 10 Settings.

Google’s Adiantum is a new Encryption Mode for Low-Power Devices like Smartphones and Smartwatches

Encryption systems used by big companies are mostly server-side because they are heavy and need a lot of CPU resources. There are only a few encryption modes that work on low-end devices like smartphone locally, but they are not much secure compared to industry standards. Today, Google announced its new encryption mode of smartphones and smartwatches, which is safe and can run locally. Google named this algorithm as Adiantum, and it’s made for small devices like Android Go smartphones, Tablets, and Smartwatches.

The high-end smartphones have dedicated hardware to handle the encryption side with the Advanced Encryption Standard or the AES. But, the low-end smartphone doesn’t have the luxury of such equipment and encryption. That is the reason tech experts do not prefer them because they are vulnerable to attacks and your passwords might get leaked. For such devices, Google launched the Adiantum Encryption mode that will work without the need for a particular hardware unit in the device. Adiantum uses the current processing sectors more efficiently and five times faster than the AES encryption on low-end smartphones.

According to Google, Adiantum uses the ChaCha stream cipher in the length-preserving mode. The same length preserving mode is used in the AES based algorithms such as HCTR and HCH. The Adiantum has multiple uses for low-power smartphones, smartwatches, smart TV and many more devices running on the Android OS. Google didn’t share the exact date of release of this encryption mode, but we will soon see it rolling on the low-end smartphones with new security updates.

Oculus VR May Launch Rift S VR Headset Soon

One of the biggest companies in the Virtual Reality gadgets sector Oculus VR may soon launch their new VR headset in the market. Instead of launching the Oculus Rift 2, the company is planning to launch Rift S VR headset in the market. According to the news report from the popular VR news website, PC application of the Oculus had the new filenames, which suggests the entry of Oculus Rift S VR headset. The Rift S will be the next-generation headset with a lot of improvements from the predecessors.

The Rift S will have the inbuilt camera for tracking the environment and orientation. Current models of the headsets need external cameras for monitoring the environment, movement, and direction. The inside-out cameras and the sensors will adjust the headset on your head and the same in 3D VR environment once you are in that dimension. The inside-out tracking system eliminates the requirement of the external devices and reduces the clutter so you can enjoy the gameplay. Also, removing the assistance from an external camera and sensory devices will make the headset more portable than ever.

Rift S might have the usefulness for PC users as the company is not good enough in processing the output inside the headset processing unit. Oculus always used the computing power of PC to process and render the graphics. So, it won’t be wireless at all, but it might have the wireless adaptor to attach to the headset and also the PC. The users need to have a full-fledged VR Ready gaming PC to use the headset effectively. Otherwise, it won’t be useful at all. With the inside-out camera and sensory system, users won’t have to set up the entire VR environment in their room with external cameras and sensors as they have to do right now.

Scribd Reaches More than 1 Million Paid Subscribers Base

Popular online ebook and audiobooks subscription service Scribd announced today that they had reached the mark of one million paid subscribers. The site provides free and paid ebooks and audiobooks to the users. With the paid plans, the users get access to all of the books including the premium content posted by famous authors and publications. Having one million paid subscribers paying monthly is the most significant achievement for the company. Although it still not a significant number, it’s for a startup that is providing the ebook and audiobooks to a niche audience and even earning the profits.

From the year 2017, Scribd is earning the profits from their operations. It’s been a long time took by the startup to reach the profit stage and make nearly $100 million each year concerning revenue. The company started as a free and straightforward document-sharing website but quickly turned to the subscription-based e-book and audiobook service. The first publication to partner with Scribd was HarperCollins, which provided all of their eBooks for the platform. HarperCollins recently launched the book on the Scribd last year making it one of the prominent platforms in the eBook industry.

The AudioBooks are one of the primary sources of income for the company and contributed to the rapid growth. The audiobooks from prominent authors and publication houses and making it easier for the company to collect $8.99 monthly payment from the interested users. The site offers a free subscription for the new users, but the limitations allow only a few books and audiobooks for the users. When asked to Mr.Trip Adler, the CEO of the company about upcoming changes, he stated that no significant changes are coming in the distant future as there is no need to introduce the same.

Android Pie 9 Beta Version Available for Unlocked Galaxy S8 Smartphones in the US

Samsung does not have a good image in sending software updates for the unlocked smartphones. But this time, the company has shared some love for the unlocked Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone. The company released the Android 9.0 Pie Beta update for the smartphone users. This is the first time since the company rolled out the Pie update for Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 smartphones. As of now, only the unlocked devices in the United States of America will receive the update.

The Android 9.0 Pie Update for Galaxy S8 and Note 8 devices comes with the regular Android Pie base and the additional features. The company-specific additions like the new UI skin that was launched last year are included in this update. The Pie update also comes with the latest January 2019 Security Update which is not yet released for other smartphones. As this is the beta program, it has limited enrollments. The program could close anytime soon, and then the users might not receive the update. To enroll in the Beta program, the users have to open the Samsung + app and then opt for the beta program.

The update comes with the size of almost 1.5GB and can be downloaded immediately after enrolling in the program. As this is the beta update of Android 9.0 Pie, there might be some bugs and the UI issues that you might face. There is no exact information available if the other smartphones are eligible to receive the update or not. This beta program is only open for the unlocked smartphones in the US and not anywhere else. If you own a Carrier-Locked smartphone, then you have to wait a few more months to receive the same update.

Google Manually Whitelisting SMS and Phone Apps from New Play Store Policy

The Search Engine Giant Google has already warned the Play Store application developers to comply with their new policies. Recently, the company announced that they are going to take strict actions against the Android apps that are misusing the SMS and Call Log permissions. The Android ecosystem is at the high risk due to these permissions abusing apps. Google clearly announced in the October through a blog post that they are willing to keep the malicious apps out of the ecosystem to maintain the privacy of the users. But for the useful apps that need the SMS and Call Logs permissions are allowed to file for an exception.

Now the Google is manually whitelisting the third-party SMS and Phone applications from the Google Play Store. With this move, it’s clear that the company is planning to keep genuine developers Happy. The popular SMS and phone apps are getting automatically whitelisted, which the apps that already filed for an exceptional review are getting manually whitelisted. Previously, the application submission process was partly automated and involved little human interference. The Google Play Store Developer Console backend was enough to identify the app contents. But now, the Developers will have to submit a “Google Play Store Permissions Consent” form with the company. Once the Developer console finds that the app needs SMS or Call Log permissions, the developer has to submit this form.
Google is considering to protect the privacy of the users very seriously. With this move, a lot of Android apps that require the SMS and call log permissions are affected. But this is sad news for the apps that do not need the same permissions but still asking the same and leaking the data of the public.

RCS Chat Makes its Way to the Google Fi

The Google today announced that the RCS or the Rich Communication Service for Android Messages is making it’s a way to the Google Fi. The Google Fi is the mobile-pseudo network from the Search Engine giant. After the launch of Rich Communication Service for Android SMS app, the Google took long to introduce the same on the Google Fi. The MWC witnessed the launch of RCS to the Fi service from Google. As per the Google, the rollout of this service is limited to only the few smartphone carriers and also the devices. The broader release will follow after few months for all of the smartphones and carriers.

As of now, the RCS Chat feature has limited support for the Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile carriers. Along with the cellular carriers, the RCS feature will work on the smartphones like Google Pixel smartphones, Moto G6, LG V35, LG G7, and Android One Moto X smartphones. It might work on the other Android smartphones too, but the users will have to install the Google Messages app on their devices. The RCS is adopted by Apple Messages from a long time to let the users communicate with other Apple users. Google has introduced the Google Messages app with RCS to fight with the Apple Messages.

The Rich Communication Service provides a variety of features for communicating with others. With the support for sending Hight Resolution images, WiFi-Texting, Videos, Audio, Read Receipts and many more with the speed of lightning. It has every feature that of the Social Communication apps like the WhatsApp and WeChat, except the End-to-End encryption. In the MWC, Google also announced the enhanced speeds on Google Fi network for the users who roam frequently. The company is moving to the Better 4G network in all of the 33 states it covers so the users will get better internet connectivity while traveling.

Samsung Exynos Auto Chip Will Be Powering Future Audi Cars

Infotainment systems have become so common in cars that every manufacturer is trying to bring something new into the game. According to the latest reports, Samsung and Audi are working together to bring a newer experience. Reports say that the first Samsung Exynos Auto chip will be powering the entertainment systems in the future cars from Audi. This will be a game changer in terms of performance.

The Exynos Auto chip has been designed with performance in mind. Powered by 8-nanometer process tech, the chip will be able to comprehend more computing functions when compared to the traditional systems being used. Users will also love the capabilities of premium audio management. Samsung also says that the chip would be able to manage up to 12 cameras from the vehicle.

Because the chip is expected to power Audio vehicles, there’s no doubt that the experience would be utmost premium. The company has included dedicated hardware for audio processing and neural tech management on top. Considering that Samsung had confirmed its partnership plans with Samsung in 2017, the launch of such vehicles by 2021 does not seem that surprising for the public.

Audi, among other automobile manufacturers, is working hard to bring something new to every vehicle it launches. In addition to the smart features being included in packages, the company also is planning to come up with an all-electric vehicle in the coming years. E-Tron, the electric vehicle from Audi, will be making use of an OLED display from Samsung.

While Samsung and Audio have tied up, other firms have also made connections in the past. For instance, a partnership between Panasonic and Qualcomm is going to create a powerful infotainment system that can be seen in a variety of vehicles in the coming years.