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AfterDawn: News

Sony releases Android 13 update for Xperia 1 IV and Xperia 5 IV

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 03 Nov 2022 4:37

Sony releases Android 13 update for Xperia 1 IV and Xperia 5 IV Sony is nowadays a small player in the smartphone world. But company focuses solely on very specific customers with its small, high-end phones and doesn't even try to woo the mainstream audiences to its phones. And within its own, self-defined category, Sony's recent phones have been simply excellent.

And Sony has done pretty good job with speedy Android updates too: company just announced that its most recent flagship phones, Sony Xperia 1 IV and Sony Xperia 5 IV are now receiving stable, official Android 13 update.

Sony was very quiet about the exact details, such as which countries will get the update first and how big the update is. But based on previous years' experience, the update should arrive to all Xperia 1 IV and 5 IV users within a week or two (unless your mobile operator blocks it, as some carriers tend to do).



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AfterDawn: News

WhatsApp is down - Globally, nobody can send or receive messages

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 25 Oct 2022 4:08

WhatsApp is down - Globally, nobody can send or receive messages For about an hour now, since 07:00 UTC, the world's largest instant messaging platform WhatsApp has been completely down.

People have panicked, uninstalled/reinstalled WhatsApp on their phones and even blamed their service providers for the situation. But no, it is down to WhatsApp itself, which simply cannot be accessed right now.

As of now, the outage has been on-going for more than an hour, marking this one of the longest downtimes for WhatsApp in quite some time now.

WhatsApp nurin 2022-10-25


According to DownDetector, the problem is global and none of the WhatsApp's functionality works right now.

You can monitor the situation by following tweets with #WhatsAppDown hashtag. Obviously, Twitter is full of fun takes on the situation already:

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AfterDawn: News

Review: OnePlus Car Charger 80W

Written by Matti Robinson @ 19 Oct 2022 10:00

Review: OnePlus Car Charger 80W OnePlus has been for years at the forefront when it comes to fast charging. The company's smartphones have supported fast charging at a competitive level throughout models and price points.

Now nearly every new mid- or higher tier smartphone comes with fast charging of some sort. Even many new lower tier, sub-$200 options, come with basic fast charging. Fast charging comes with a simple advantage. Phone doesn't need to be charged overnight anymore, when just a short juice-up during other regular daily tasks, like taking a shower or preparing breakfast can offer hours upon hours of battery life.

However, one place we haven't come across many proper fast charging applications are car chargers. If you'd want to fill your battery during a half an hour commute, usually that isn't possible with generic car chargers, even when they profess fast charging.

This seems odd, since smartphone users often spend time in traffic, and that would be the perfect time to recharge your smartphone.

OnePlus has had car chargers previously, as well, but they haven't caught the attention of the press or the public. At least, they flew under the radar for us. Perhaps this is due to the fact that they have only supported SuperVOOC charging, support of which is limited to OnePlus and few related brands (Oppo, Realme, Vivo).

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AfterDawn: News

YouTube announces new feature: Handles

Written by Matti Robinson @ 10 Oct 2022 1:13

YouTube announces new feature: Handles YouTube has today announced a new feature called Handles. According to Google's video platform, the new feature can help YouTube creators identify more effectively on their platform and within communities.

The new identification method has largely been copied from Twitter, even to the extent that it is preceded by @ sign. The new Handles will be in the form "@handle," and the new web address is formatted "youtube.com/@handle."

According to YouTube, Handles are designed for it to be "easier for members of the community to find and connect with each other." Especially for those that do not have a personalized YouTube address, this is going to be a blessing. Instead of a long, jumbled mess of characters, they can now be found with a simple Handle.

Those that already have a concise, personalized YouTube address. They can choose to continue using that as a handle. In fact, YouTube will automatically reserve that as your Handle, but the YouTuber can switch away from it if they'd like to.

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AfterDawn: News

USB-C and quick charging become mandatory in EU for phones, laptops, more

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 04 Oct 2022 2:04

USB-C and quick charging become mandatory in EU for phones, laptops, more In a landmark decision that has been in works for more than a decade, European parliament almost unanimously decided to make USB-C mandatory in all portable electronics.

By the end of 2024 all new phones, digital cameras, headphones, tablets and various other portable devices sold within the European Union must have a USB-C charging port. The new legislation doesn't allow manufacturers to circumvent the requirement with adapters or anything like that.

Interestingly, the legislation also makes USB PD quick charging mandatory for mobile phones, tablets and other "medium-sized" devices. Manufacturers are required to support at least 30W quick charging USB PD standard by end of 2024.

The requirement for 30W+ quick charging is a big deal, considering how some manufacturers don't provide any quick charging for their budget phones - and some expensive models only support 18W quick charging.

Additionally, all laptops sold in Europe must switch to USB-C charging by spring 2026. Only exception to this requirement are the high-end laptops that draw more than 100W power when operating at full power. For those, manufacturers can continue to use their non-standard charging ports.

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AfterDawn: News

Android 13 officially released

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 15 Aug 2022 2:24

Android 13 officially released Without much fanfare, Google just released the final, stable version of Android 13 operating system.

As usual, the new operating system is already available for all supported Google Pixel phones, starting with Pixel 4 series. Pixel 3 and older wont be eligible for the update and they're considered to have reached their end.

Android 13 beta is already available to selected handsets outside the Google Pixel family. All major Android manufacturers (Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi and more) have at least one of their models enrolled to Android beta program.

Android 13 improves privacy controls, the way how audio can be cast to various output devices and much, much more.

There's already a list of phones expected to get the Android 13 update available. Obviously, as manufacturer announce their detailed release plans, the list will evolve and grow.

For full list of changes - technical or more visible ones - Google's developer site has a very detailed list of changes since Android 12.




AfterDawn: News

Nvidia's warns about weak quarter, loses $1 billion in gaming revenue

Written by Matti Robinson @ 11 Aug 2022 10:49

Nvidia's warns about weak quarter, loses $1 billion in gaming revenue Nvidia released a warning before the final quarterly results, due in two weeks. The company's previous prediction was off by over $1 billion.

On Monday, graphics card manufacturer Nvidia has released the preliminary financial results for the second quarter of the current fiscal year. These preliminary results act as a warning for the investors ahead of the final results, and earnings call on August 24.

The revenue of $6.70 billion is a far cry from the company's outlook as consumers wait for the next round of GPUs.

In May, Nvidia predicted the quarter to top $8.10 billion in revenue, which would have been a slight decline from the previous quarter but a major uptick from the year prior. However, expectations weren't met and the stock market responded predictably.

Stock price slid from last week's high of $192 by approximately 10 percent to $172, but bounced back to $178 by the time of NASDAQ closing.

The company's lackluster performance was blamed on Gaming revenue, which did take a tremendous hit. Gaming revenue fell 33 percent year-over-year and nearly halved compared to the previous quarter which had record-breaking revenue for both Gaming and Data Center segments.

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AfterDawn: News

Twitter confirms vulnerability resulted in over 5 million accounts exposed

Written by Matti Robinson @ 08 Aug 2022 1:22

Twitter confirms vulnerability resulted in over 5 million accounts exposed Twitter released a statement on Friday confirming that a vulnerability they had patched earlier this year was, in fact, used in a malicious attack to collect user data.

The company was forced to come clean after media reports about hacked account details surfaced on the web. According to Twitter, the company became aware of the problem in January 2022 via the company's bug bounty program. The bug had been in the code since June 2022 and was quickly fixed.

Now, the actual vulnerability and the exploit of it has to do with a form that provides the Twitter ID associated with the submitted phone number or email address. This shouldn't be publicly available, and according to a HackerOne report to Twitter, this happened even when the user had explicitly prohibited this action in the Twitter privacy settings.

This was abused to create lists consisting of Twitter IDs, phone numbers, and email addresses.

Last month Restore Privacy reported that over 5 million Twitter accounts were exposed by a hacker that was selling the database with Twitter IDs, phone numbers, and email addresses. For $30,000, the hacker by the name of "devil" claimed, you could receive information about "Celebrities, Companies, randoms, OGs, etc."

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AfterDawn: News

Amazon acquires Roomba maker for $1.7 billion, gets your home layout?

Written by Matti Robinson @ 08 Aug 2022 12:46

Amazon acquires Roomba maker for $1.7 billion, gets your home layout? Shopping giant Amazon has somewhat unexpectedly moved in to acquire leading robot vacuum manufacturer iRobot. The acquisition cost is $1.7 billion, companies' press release states.

While Amazon's purchase of Roomba maker came as a surprise, the acquisition does make sense for the world largest shopping network that has been investing in smart home technology for years.

Amazon was the first to launch a line of voice assistant speakers in the form of Echo, shortly after Apple and Google had introduced their smartphone-tied assistants. The Alexa-equipped speakers, that Amazon has expanded tremendously over the years, have been a massive success for the company.

Later the company acquired a high-profile home tech in smart doorbell company Ring.

Some have suggested a somewhat hilarious, perhaps even sinister, reason for the iRobot purchase, as seen below. While it seems more like a baseless stab at Amazon's possibly nefarious nature, there's some truth to the concern.

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AfterDawn: News

New Qualcomm chip gives smartwatches 2x performance, 50% more battery life

Written by Matti Robinson @ 20 Jul 2022 1:15

New Qualcomm chip gives smartwatches 2x performance, 50% more battery life The leading semiconductor corporation Qualcomm has announced new Snapdragon chips for wearables. The upcoming Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 and Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 system-on-chips provide vastly improved power management among other changes.

In their documentation, the company has focused on the superior, in what they call the "most advanced leap yet", the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 chip, which is the one that you'll see on many of the upcoming Wear OS smartwatches. The featured chip is a successor to the wide-adopted Snapdragon Wear 4100+ platform, and offers upgrades throughout the device.

The regular W5 Gen 1 is aimed at segment-specific devices, which can be found in kids toys, health equipment, or enterprise solutions. Although undoubtedly an important part of Qualcomm's wearable business, the chip is less of a consumer product.

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AfterDawn: News

App spending overtook games first time ever on the App Store

Written by Matti Robinson @ 18 Jul 2022 6:20

App spending overtook games first time ever on the App Store Market research firm, Sensor Tower, has released a quarterly report on spending on mobile apps and games. Their Q2 2022 Data Digest suggests that apps have overtaken games in spending on U.S. App Store for the first time ever.

The report details customer spending on mobile platforms between April 1 and June 30, 2022, and concludes, among other things, that due to the stagnation of game spending, apps have taken the spot for the most revenue generated in the second quarter of the year as it relates to the U.S. App Store.

The app store ecosystems of Apple and Google combined a total of 35 billion downloads, which was a minor, although telling, year-over-year decline of 2.5 percent. App Store declined 1.3 % from 7.9 to 7.8 billion, and Google Play 2.9 % from 28 to 27.2 billion.

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AfterDawn: News

The Genesis of Nothing

Written by Matti Robinson @ 15 Jul 2022 2:16

The Genesis of Nothing Nothing is a fascinating company with golden, likely-to-fail promises only rivaled by those of Elon Musk, a marketing ideas inspired perhaps by old Apple Inc., and an enigmatic image of a high-fashion brand.

However, to understand Nothing, and the recently announced first smartphone of theirs, we must investigate the origins of OnePlus. This isn't some sort of theoretical mathematics conundrum, instead it is a guide to the inner workings of Carl Pei's new company.

After all, OnePlus is the spiritual progenitor, albeit maybe not the direct ancestor, of Nothing Technology Limited.

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AfterDawn: News

Nothing announced their debut smartphone

Written by Matti Robinson @ 14 Jul 2022 2:11

Nothing announced their debut smartphone The London-based technology brand Nothing, lead by a former OnePlus boss Carl Pei, has announced their second ever product at the Return to Instinct event. The Nothing Phone or Nothing Phone (1), as they call it is a mid-range smartphone with some creative, never-before-seen features.

To get the dull specifications out of the way, the phone features a mid-range Snapdragon chip, Snapdragon 778G+, a 6.55 inch Full HD+ panel with 120 Hz refresh rate, 8 or 12 gigabytes of RAM, and 128 or 256 gigabytes of UFS 3.1 storage.

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AfterDawn: News

Russia introduces new 100 rouble bill - but you can't get it from ATMs or to pay with it

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 01 Jul 2022 11:39

Russia introduces new 100 rouble bill - but you can't get it from ATMs or to pay with it "What looks and feels like a real paper money, but doesn't work?" Well, obviously, that is Russian paper money.

Russian Central Bank officially introduced the updated 100 rouble bill today. The bill shows a Soviet Soldier Memorial as its main image and bill is supposed to replace the previous 100 rouble bill currently in circulation.

But there's a small problem with all that: you can't withdraw the new bill from ATMs and you can't pay with it in stores.

And why is that? Because ever since Russia launched its attack against Ukraine, Western companies have refused to deliver any technology to Russia. And it just happens to be that 60 percent of all Russian ATMs are made by Western companies and whopping 100 percent of all the cash registers in the country are made by Western companies.

Thus, in order to get the new bill into circulation, the ATMs and cash registers need to be updated in order to recognize the new bill. And Western manufacturers simply wont do that due the sanctions against Russia. Even banks refuse to take the bill, as they don't have updated hardware to detect fake bills from authentic ones.

So, new paper money theoretically exists, but it can't be used.

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AfterDawn: News

Sony announces new gaming brand, Inzone, with displays and headsets

Written by Matti Robinson @ 29 Jun 2022 2:42

Sony announces new gaming brand, Inzone, with displays and headsets Japanese electronics behemoth, Sony, has announced a new gaming brand under their computer hardware and peripheral department. The company calls the new gaming gear Inzone or INZONE, as they'd like them to be stylized.

Sony's obvious plan is to challenge the Asian electronics competitors that have already created their own gaming brands, and in many cases sold branded gear for years, even decades.

These companies include the likes of Asus with their Republic of Gamers that was brought about as early as in 2006. The brand has become one of the company's most valued possessions, and spans across computer hardware like motherboards all the way up to more mainstream gaming gear like headsets and even gaming-focused smartphones.

Others, like Lenovo with their Legion line of devices and Acer with Predator offer similar lineup of products, including but not limited to laptop and desktop computers, monitors, gaming mice and keyboards, and headsets.

While the range of devices in the gaming gear market is expansive, Sony has decided to enter it in a careful manner with just a few products that are to be released this summer.

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