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Google reveals new Pixels ahead of release with first Google-designed Tensor chip

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 03 Aug 2021 10:16

Google reveals new Pixels ahead of release with first Google-designed Tensor chip Google is expected to release new Pixel smartphones later this fall, and while that is still the case, we've already got some looks at the new devices.

The search giant seems to be anxious to show of their new phones that come with a brand new design as well as a first ever Google-designed mobile system-on-chip inside.

As mentioned, the actual release is still ways off, so this is more of a preview for the devices, probably designed to build hype throughout the late summer and early fall.

In addition to the new design and chip, Google has revamped the naming a little bit. There will be no XL model, although Google is back to producing two distinct Pixel phones. The larger, and better equipped, of the two is called Pixel 6 Pro


AfterDawn: News

Spotify testing cheap, $1 a month subscription

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 03 Aug 2021 7:47

Spotify testing cheap, $1 a month subscription According to reports, Spotify is testing a new subscription model in the United States with limited user base. The new subscription model costs only a dollar/month, making it by far the cheapest music subscription service in the U.S.

But as the normal Spotify Premium costs $9.99 in the U.S., the super-cheap subscription model comes with handful of restrictions. First of all, the cheap subscription comes with ads, just like the free version of Spotify.

Secondly, unlike in free version, user can skip unlimited number of songs when playing the music. In free version, user can only skip six songs per hour. Furthermore, the new Spotify Plus model allows user to freely select what music is being player - in free version, user's specific song selection is limited to Spotify-curated playlists.

According to The Verge, the limited scale test is exactly that: a limited test. You can't opt in to the Spotify Plus subscription, as the users for the service have been pre-selected from Spotify's free users.

Spotify Plus subscription model


AfterDawn: News

No more Linux games - developers switching to Valve's Proton

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 30 Jul 2021 4:02

No more Linux games - developers switching to Valve's Proton Ever since Valve started embracing Linux as a gaming platform back in 2012 when company added Linux support for its Steam platform, the Linux gaming has seen a dramatic increase. But now the time of the native Linux game ports is seemingly coming to an end.

And that is, actually, a quite good thing. Why?

Instead of manually porting their games from Windows / Xbox platform to Linux, several big name developers have recently announced that Valve's Proton emulation layer is now so good that there is no need to make separate Linux ports of the games.

Valve launched the Proton platform baci in 2018 and apparently it has gotten so good at running Windows games on Linux that several big name development companies have decided to cherish it. According to the developers, by using Proton, there is virtually no performance loss when running Windows games on Linux - and obviously, dropping native Linux ports completely frees up development resources for other tasks.

Proton itself is based on open-source Wine Windows emulator that allows running Windows software on Linux. But Valve has improved the Wine with its Proton, focusing solely on gaming experience and to ensure that games run on Linux - and that they actually run smoothly.


AfterDawn: News

Huawei drops out of phone manufacturers Top 5, even in China

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 29 Jul 2021 7:26

Huawei drops out of phone manufacturers Top 5, even in China Ever since United States set up its trade ban against Chinese tech giant Huawei, company's phone business has been shrinking - rapidly. Recent figures show that Huawei's phone business is almost gone by now.

Few years ago Huawei managed to become the largest phone manufacturer in the world, but only very briefly. Ever since that, Huawei has been in deep trouble with its phone business. With no access to Google's services for its Android and lack of access to Western chip patents and manufacturing, it hasn't been properly able to build even phones for its own home market where Google's services aren't used.

According to the latest market share figures by IDC, Huawei has dropped out of top 5 even in China during the Q2/2021. Huawei's market share losses have been mostly taken by other Chinese manufactuers - both in China and abroad, too. According to IDC's stats, Vivo is now the biggest phone manufacturer in China, in terms of domestic unit sales. Vivo grabbed 23.6 percent market share in Chinese market, followed by Oppo which had 21.1 percent market share.


AfterDawn: News

New version of PS5 confirmed

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 22 Jul 2021 4:57

New version of PS5 confirmed Sony's latest product manual for Sony Playstation 5 Digital Edition shows that the device has been revamped recently. The changes seem to be miniscule, but this marks the first hardware change to the PS5 launched in 2020.

According to the Sony's official manual, available on PlayStation's official Japanese website, the revamped model is about 0.7lbs / 300g lighter than the original model. Furthermore, the device seems to have subtle design changes for its exterior, too.

Redesign of PS5

New model, dubbed as CFI-1100B isn't out there in the wild yet, so we don't know whether there are any other changes to the device. Sony has officially stated earlier this year that company is considering some changed to the inner hardware, too, in order to tackle the issues caused by global semiconductor shortage.

Sony's Playstation 5 as well as Microsoft's new Xbox line have been extremely hard to get, all over the world. In many countries, there are now official lottery systems where wannabe-console-owners can sign up for a chance to buy the new device when next shipment arrives. The slightly redesigned console was originally spotted by a Twitter user called @Renka_schedule.

AfterDawn: News

Valve announces Steam Deck, a handheld gaming device able to play Steam games

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 16 Jul 2021 4:24

Valve announces Steam Deck, a handheld gaming device able to play Steam games Valve's handheld gaming device has been in works for years and rumors have surrounded the project. But finally Valve has announced the final product: Steam Deck is a handheld gaming device that is able to play Steam games - and should be available just before holiday season of 2021.

Steam Deck is a Linux powered device running mostly on AMD chips. Device has a 7-inch display with 1280x800 resolution (60Hz refresh rate) and 400 nit brightness. According to Valve, Steam Deck is powerful enough to run latest so-called AAA games.

Steam Deck is powered by a quad-core Zen 2 CPU with eight threads and eight AMD RDNA 2 compute units and 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM.

Steam Deck will ship in three storage configurations:

  • Basic versionhas 64 GB of eMMC storage
  • Mid-range version has 256GB of NVMe SSD storage
  • High-end version has 512GB of NVMe SSD storage

The lower spec version of the Steam Deck is priced at $399 in the United States and €419 in Europe, Steam Deck is expected to hit the store shelves just before the holiday season of 2021. The other versions are priced at $529 / €549 and $649 / €679, respectively.


AfterDawn: News

Your Netflix subscription might include games soon

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 15 Jul 2021 8:12

Your Netflix subscription might include games soon According to rumors, Netflix is serious about expnading to new areas. Company has hired former EA exec to oversee its video game development department, paving way to Netflix's upcoming subscription gaming service.

Details are somewhat murky, but according to Bloomberg, Netflix is developing its own in-house game studio that is set to develop games for year 2022. The games would appear in Netflix lists, just like movies and TV shows do.

Big questions, like "what device you use to play the games?" are still completely open. But one thing seems to be clear: Netflix - for now - doesn't plan to charge extra for the games, as they'd be part of all Netflix subscriptions. But obviously, if the game part of Netflix becomes popular, it would help Netflix justify its future price increases.

Games would be streamed, which is the current trend set out by likes of Microsoft, Sony and Google's Stadia service. But as far as the controllers, etc go, nobody knows whether you're supposed to play with your TV remote or do the games need a computer and a browser in order to run them.

AfterDawn: News

Android 11 update tracker - What phones will get it?

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 09 Jul 2021 2:34

Android 11 update tracker - What phones will get it? Android 11 was released in September, 2020. Only handful of phones in fall of 2020 were actually released with Android 11 operating system, but the list of phones announced that will get the update has grown significantly over the months.

In this list, we try to keep track of all promised, rumored and confirmed Android 11 updates to all major manufacturer phones. Some of the list is based on -Google's own list, some of the list is based on manufacturer's own announcements.

It should be remembered that even when specific phone model is promised to have an Android 11 update, it doesn't necessarily mean that your phone will get it. The models promised to get the update include typically only unlocked phones, not those customized to specific operator - it is up to operators to decide whether their custom models will get the said update or not.

Android 11 has already arrived or has been promised to arrive to these phone models:


AfterDawn: News

OnePlus finally releases Android 11 beta for OnePlus 6, OnePlus 6

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 09 Jul 2021 2:14

OnePlus finally releases Android 11 beta for OnePlus 6, OnePlus 6 Owners of OnePlus year 2018 models have been waiting quite some time these news. Company finally released the first official beta version of Android 11 for its OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T models.

OnePlus 6 was originally released back in May, 2018 with Android Oreo. Since then, the phone has received updates to Android P and Android 10 - and now, finally, the first beta version for Android 11.

According to OnePlus Android update policy, the Android 11 will also be the last major update for OnePlus 6 series phones.

OnePlus has been traditionally exceptionally good providing timely updates for its phones, but after the release of Android 11, company has failed to deliver. Currently, several OnePlus phones are still waiting for the official Android 11 update and to make matters worse, many OnePlus 7 series users have been very unhappy with the Android 11 they've received.

AfterDawn: News

GitHub releses Copilot - an AI that codes for you

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 30 Jun 2021 10:47

GitHub releses Copilot - an AI that codes for you GitHub has released an AI-powered coding assistant that can actually write code for you. Dubbed as GitHub Copilot, the new AI tool might transform the way programmers do their work.

Jointly developed by GitHub and OpenAI, the Copilot uses OpenAI Codex AI platform. The AI has been pre-fed with thousands of open source code projects, drawing from vast code repository that GitHub itself is. By using the source material. Copilot has learned how to write code, entire functions and even entire algorithms.

Basically, Copilot can understand even very short hints, like a function call and determine what that function should do - and then write the entire function on its own. So, it is not your dad's old auto-fill service that is available on all code editors, but a really a tool that could take out the most mundane parts of any programming.

Copilot also supports basically all the known programming languages, as programming itself tends ot follow the same rules, regardless of the actual language used. GitHub says that currently it works best for most used languages, such as TypeScript, Ruby, Python, Go and JavaScript. What is even more impressive is the fact that Copilot adapts to each programmer's own programming style and tried to generate code that resembles the programmer's coding style - making the code more readable for its "main pilot".


AfterDawn: News

Brexit allows BT to reintroduce roaming fees - and it does so

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 24 Jun 2021 1:01

Brexit allows BT to reintroduce roaming fees - and it does so After the United Kingdom's separation from the Europen Union was finally finalized in January, 2021, the European Union legislations ceased to restrict British corporations. And now, at least one of them, is taking an advantage of the situation.

Back in 2017, European Union introduced a legislation that abolished roaming fees across the Europen Union. Basically this meant that any European citizen could travel to other EU country and use their existing mobile phone contract there, without any extra fees. Calling, texting and data usage cost the same as you'd pay when staying at your own home, even when you're travelling abroad.

Since the Brexit, UK hasn't been part of the European Union and thus, the European legislation doesn't force the hands of its local operators anymore. One of the major operators, British Telecom assured its customers for years that if the brexit would happen, it wouldn't re-introduce roaming fees for British travellers.

Now, company has decided to do exactly that. Starting in 2022, British Telecom's mobile network, EE, customers will have to pay a £2 daily fee in order to use their text, call or data packages when travelling in Europe.


AfterDawn: News

Windows 11 unveiled: UI completely redesigned, free for Windows 10 users

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 24 Jun 2021 12:48

Windows 11 unveiled: UI completely redesigned, free for Windows 10 users Microsoft finally unveiled its latest operating system, Windows 11, today. The user interface has been completely redesgined, but other major changes occurred, too.

Most visibily, the taskbar of Windows 11 looks totally different from anything we've seen in Windows. It is actually taken mostly from abandoned Windows 10X operating system project that Microsoft had in its plans for light-weight computers. As 10X was eventually scrapped, the UX changes of it made their way to new Windows 11.

Windows 11 start menu

Windows 11 Start menu

One of the most significant changes is the fact that Windows 11 wont support 32-bit CPUs anymore: it is 64-bit only. The entire minimum requirement sheet is:
  • 64-bit CPU, with minimum of 1GHz
  • at least two CPU cores
  • 64GB of storage
  • 4GB of RAM
  • UEFI-compatible BIOS and motherboard
  • at least 9" display, with 1366x768 resolution or better
  • DirectX 12 compatible graphics


AfterDawn: News

Finally some clarity: Honor phones will be supported by Huawei, new ones by Honor

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 24 Jun 2021 7:54

Finally some clarity: Honor phones will be supported by Huawei, new ones by Honor After Huawei was put on United States' black list back in 2019, the company's phone business has been in rather chaotic state. Finally, in late 2020, Huawei had to sell its sub-brand, Honor, in order to get some much-needed cash and to save at least part of the company's phone business.

Since Honor was spun off, the question about the Honor phones' support has been open: who will provide support for Honor phones sold before the spin-off? Now, there are finally some answers.

According to Finnish mobile news site, SuomiMobiili, older Honor phones will be supported by Huawei, permanently, and only the new Honor phones will be supported by Honor itself. SuomiMobiili approached Honor's Finnish subsdiary directly and got straight answers to its questions about the Honor phone support.

Speicifically, all Honor phones released on or after 1st of April, 2021 will be supported by Honor - everything released before that date, will be supported by Huawei.


AfterDawn: News

Google crashing on your Android phone? You're not alone - here's how to fix it

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 22 Jun 2021 5:40

Google crashing on your Android phone? You're not alone - here's how to fix it Google has once again managed to mess up its flagship product's update on Android phones. Thousands of users across the globe have reported that Google's search app on Android is crashing constantly. So, no, its not you, its the Google.

The problem has been observed with Google's app versions and Problem seems to be affecting users with various manufacturers, ranging from Samsung, Google's own Pixel phones to Sony phones.

According to Google, the issue should be cleared after phone restart, but according to reports, this hasn't helped everybody.

To fix the problem for now, navigate to your phone's Settings and go to Settings > Apps > Google. There, tap the three dots in the upper corner and choose Remove updates. This should fix the problem until Google releases an official patch to the problem.

AfterDawn: News

iPhone users: Do not join WiFi network named like this - your WiFi wont work after this

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 20 Jun 2021 6:45

iPhone users: Do not join WiFi network named like this - your WiFi wont work after this Security expert Carl Schou has spotted an interesting bug in Apple's iPhone WiFi connectivity. Joining to a specifically named WiFi network will freeze the phone's entire WiFi connectivity - permanently.

After user joins such network, the WiFi connections freeze completely and not even rebooting the phone will fix the problem. Neither will disabling WiFi and turning it on again. Only solution is to reset all iPhone's network connections completely through iPhone's settings, which will wipe out all the stored WiFi passwords and settings.

The problem exists also in Apple iPad tablets and behaves similarly. Apple hasn't released a fix to the problem yet.

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