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Microsoft Surface Duo: Pre-Order Available in September

13th August 2020
"It’s thin, it’s sleek, it’s probably one of the sexiest devices Microsoft have built."

Microsoft is back to selling smartphones for the first time since it abandoned its mobile business more than four years ago.

The company began taking orders Wednesday for the Surface Duo, a new dual-screen Android device that costs $1,399 and begins shipping in September.

The high-priced gadget is designed to impress, but is also arriving during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, with unemployment in double digits and budget-wary consumers spending more time at home to avoid the coronavirus pandemic.

Microsoft is pitching the Duo as a more useful tool than a conventional smartphone, since it enables users to multitask with two separate apps or web pages at a time. CEO Satya Nadella, for instance, uses one screen to take notes and the other to read a book on Amazon’s Kindle app.

The Duo has two 5.6-inch displays and, when opened like a book, is a slim 4.8 millimeters thick, making it what the company says is the thinnest device on the market. Microsoft engineers say that instead of adopting a single folding screen, as Samsung does, they chose to connect two displays on a hinge because it allows for sturdier glass.

It’s thin, it’s sleek, it’s probably one of the sexiest devices we’ve built,” said Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer, during an online briefing Tuesday.

Adding a mobile device to its Surface line of computers is a reversal for Microsoft after its short-lived ownership of smartphone-maker Nokia and its difficulties in transitioning its Windows operating system to the mobile era. Apple and Google’s Android long ago cornered the market on phone operating systems, but Microsoft’s rare partnership with Google means Duo comes with a suite of Android apps.

It remains to be seen how many consumers will be willing to pay for Microsoft’s pricey innovations in a recession and pandemic. Samsung this summer also unveiled top-of-the-line new Galaxy phones that will cost roughly $1,000 to $1,300.

But Apple is enjoying success with a far cheaper iPhone in the $400 range that it released in April. Google is also rolling out an inexpensive Pixel phone at nearly $350 that has many of the same features as its more expensive model.

Source: AP

 

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Samsung launches Galaxy Watch3 and Buds Live

6th August 2020
"Galaxy Watch3 is a next-generation smartwatch from the company bundled with lots of health and wellness features."

Samsung unveils Galaxy Watch3 and Galaxy Buds Live. Galaxy Watch3 is a next-generation smartwatch from the company bundled with lots of health and wellness features. Meanwhile, Galaxy Buds Live features ergonomic design paired with premium audio technologies.

Samsung launches Galaxy Watch3 and Buds Live

Galaxy Watch3 features

Galaxy Watch3 is built with premium materials like stainless steel and high-quality leather and features rotating bezel from previous watch models. When compared to the original Galaxy Watch, the Watch3 is 14 per cent thinner, 8 per cent smaller and 15 per cent lighter despite the larger display. One of the key features of the Galaxy Watch3 is the Blood oxygen (SpO2) feature which can measure and track oxygen saturation over time.

The Galaxy Watch3 will also be home to the new Samsung Health Monitor app which will include blood pressure (BP) monitoring and electrocardiogram (ECG) readings in markets where these features have been authorized. The Watch3 comes with a new feature that detects falls, which identifies a potential fall and can send an SOS notification to chosen contacts. The Watch3 offers brand new sleep score and insights to help users get better rest.

Samsung launches Galaxy Watch3 and Buds Live

Galaxy Buds Live features

Galaxy Buds Live feature an intuitive touch-based PUI (physical user interface)14 for touch control, as well as Bixby voice wake-up15 that allows users to navigate music, open apps, and send messages hands-free and eyes-free. The Buds come with long-lasting battery life.

The new Galaxy Buds Live are combined with AKG’s sound expertise paired with Samsung’s legacy of hardware innovation. The Buds come with a 12mm speaker and bass duct, three microphones and a Voice Pickup Unit. These earbuds feature Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) for open type, allowing users to tune out distractions. Galaxy Buds Live is compatible with a range of devices and users will be able to seamlessly switch between compatible devices.

As per Samsung, “when fully charged, your earbuds can support up to 6 hours of playback, and the charging case allows you to enjoy an additional 15 hours over multiple charges16. And when you need to top up on charge quickly, you can gain 1 hour of playtime with just 5 minutes of charging.”

Galaxy Buds Live feature an intuitive touch-based PUI (physical user interface)14 for touch control, as well as Bixby voice wake-up15 that allows users to navigate music, open apps, and send messages hands-free and eyes-free. The Buds come with long-lasting battery life.

Galaxy Watch3 and Buds Live availability

Galaxy Watch 41mm variant comes in Mystic Bronze and Mystic Silver colours, while the Galaxy Watch 45mm variant comes in Mystic Silver and Mystic Black. The Titanium variant will be available later this year, Samsung confirmed. The Galaxy Buds Live will also be available starting August 6 in Mystic Bronze, Mystic White, and Mystic Black.

The Galaxy Watch3 comes in 41mm and 45mm, both available in LTE and Bluetooth variants. Galaxy Watch3 and Galaxy Buds Live will be available in select countries starting from August 6 and will eventually expand to more markets.

 

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Microsoft’s Surface Duo Has Revealed It's Release Plans

10th August 2020
"Microsoft MVPs were invited to attend a virtual Surface briefing, presumably for Duo, on August 12."

When Microsoft’s Panos Panay took to the stage late last year to introduce the world to the Surface Duo, ‘the holidays 2020’ was announced as the retail launch. For many, including myself, that suggested a fourth quarter appearance for the dual-screened Android-powered device.

Now it looks like we’ll be seeing the revolutionary device in the next few weeks. Let’s look at the clues that are building up towards a surprising release date.

Lets start with the paperwork. The Surface Duo has picked up a number of certifications in the last few weeks, including from the US FCC and variants for Canada and Japan. As well as the regulatory details, you also have Google’s all-important Android Compatibility Test Suite that opens up a number of critically important features:

"Arguably this is a formality for an Android device, but the certification is vital for another part of the Android ecosystem that the public is familiar. Google Mobile Services - which is required to have the Google Play Store (and other associated services such as Youtube) - has ‘Android Compatibility’ as part of its requirements.”

Then there’s the visuals, because we also have new images from the device. The PR materials have leaked via a US carrier - the Surface team may have pushed the line that the Surface Duo is not a phone heavily, but it still has a cellular data connection. Jon Fingas for Engadget:

“Well-known leaker Evan Blass has shared …a batch of renders for the Surface Duo while claiming the dual-screen Android device will launch with AT&T. He didn’t provide release details or pricing, but it’s safe to say that monthly payments could make it easier to justify the unique clamshell device.”

Finally, perhaps the biggest signal comes from long-term Microsoft commentator Paul Thurrott. As well as noting the leaked press material, he also highlighted the briefings that will be taking place in the next week:

"As I noted on Twitter myself, Microsoft MVPs were invited to attend a virtual Surface briefing, presumably for Duo, on August 12."

There’s a lot of information out there, and none of them have a specific date that says ‘The Surface Duo will launch on this date’, but the momentum is building and the moment is close.

Source: Forbes

 

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Apple releases WatchOS 7 Public Beta with Added Features

11th August 2020
"WatchOS 7 include official sleep tracking, improved bicycle directions and navigation, more watch face customizations."

On Monday, Apple officially releases its first public beta of watchOS 7 for Apple Watch Series 3 and up. Although Apple has had the watchOS beta program for years now, this marks the first time that Apple releases it as a public beta. This means you won’t be required to have a developer account to download and test the next version of watchOS.

The most significant additions to watchOS 7 include official sleep tracking, improved bicycle directions and navigation, more watch face customizations including complications for Siri Shortcuts, a new hand-washing timer, and new workout modes.

The Apple Watch has been missing native sleep tracking for years, but that hasn’t kept it from being one of the best-selling smartwatches. The Sleep app will have automatic sleep tracking, and a new tab will be added to the Health app. Dancing has been added as a fitness workout on the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch users will now be able to share custom watch faces and download faces from curated lists on the App Store.

WatchOS 7 will become publicly available for all Apple Watch Series 3 and newer starting this fall.

Source:gsmarena

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