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AfterDawn: News

Coronavirus now has implications for iPhone production?

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 26 Feb 2020 11:14

Coronavirus now has implications for iPhone production? Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has been causing problems in China, and as it has spread in dozens of other countries, it might become an issue elsewhere too.

Recently, the world's largest mobile conference, Mobile World Congress, had to cancel first time ever due to contagion issues. Even technology companies have issued warnings that the production is stalling a little bit in China, where offially over 80 000 people have been infected.

One of the companies issuing warnings was Apple. Their statement said that the production hadn't returned to normal capacity in a timely manner, and that is likely going to affect bottom line.

However, this might not be the entire scope of the issues Apple is facing due to coronavirus. According to Reuters' sources, Apple engineers haven't been able to visit Foxconn due to the contagion scare and travel bans.

This means that the production samples of upcoming iPhones haven't been evaluated in a way they usually are, and could mean a delay in component orders.

Fortunately Apple still might have some time to fix this issue, since the assembly of new iPhones doesn't start before some time next summer.

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AfterDawn: News

Netflix is finally revealing show popularity, apps get top 10 lists

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 26 Feb 2020 10:50

Netflix is finally revealing show popularity, apps get top 10 lists After their usual comprehensive testing of a new feature, Netflix is planning to introduce new top 10 lists worldwide. Previously the company has been very secretive about their shows and their viewerships. This is far from all-encompassing viewership data but it's something.

Netflix tells us that the top 10 lists are going to be region specific, which means that soon we'll have global data on each regions most popular shows and movies.

You'll find the list from the Netflix app in a traditional horizontal list, just like the other categories, but it also has a stylized placement number on top of the thumbnail.

Netflix is also adding top shows and movies to other categories and you can distinguish them in those lists in a similar way, from a red sticker on the picture. However, it doesn't specify the placement, just that they are among the top 10.

Engadget has released screenshots exposing what it should look in your app.

According to the company, the lists are updated each day, so you might see new recommendations on a daily basis, especially with popular new releases.

The feature has been tested in Mexico and UK before the global rollout.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft to redesign Windows 10 core icons

Written by James Delahunty @ 21 Feb 2020 5:59

Microsoft to redesign Windows 10 core icons Microsoft is upgrading the icons in Windows 10 and other products with the first changes rolling out in Preview Builds already.

It has been almost five years since Microsoft released Windows 10 to the public. In the meantime, there has been plenty of feature changes and improvements made through periodic updates to the operating system, but much of its icons remain the same as they were initially. Microsoft admits that user feedback shows a desire for its core products to get a new lick of paint.

Microsoft did update the icons for its Office products in the meantime, and will now more onto other products. Updates to built-in apps like Alarms & Clock, Calculator, Mail, and Calendar will be the first. In fact, Mail and Calendar icon updates have rolled out with the latest Release Preview for those in the Fast ring.

"Research shows that people want consistency in design and connection to brand, with enough differences to aid in recognition," writes Christina Koehn on a Medium.com blog post about Microsoft's approach to updating and modernizing icons in Windows and its other products.

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AfterDawn: News

Disruptive Ads: Google purges 600 apps from Play Store

Written by James Delahunty @ 21 Feb 2020 5:57

Disruptive Ads: Google purges 600 apps from Play Store Google has booted more than 600 apps from the Play Store that it accuses of violating its policies by prompting users with disruptive ads that are a detriment to experience.

The 600 apps has reportedly been installed more than 4.5 billion times before their removal this week. In addition to the expulsion from the Play Store, Google has also banned them from Google's monetization platform. Google defines disruptive ads as ads that are displayed to users in unexpected ways, including impairing or interfering with the usability of device functions.

For example, apps that displays "out of context" ads were targeted for removal. An out-of-context ad is one that pops up on a device even when the user is not actually active in the app itself.

Another practice highlighted by Google are full screen ads that pop up when users are trying to make a phone call, unlock a device, or carrying out other essential functions. These ads generate unintentional clicks which are both an annoyance for users, and a fraudulent drain on the resources of the advertiser. Google will refund advertisers who were impacted by removed apps.

"As we move forward, we will continue to invest in new technologies to detect and prevent emerging threats that can generate invalid traffic, including disruptive ads, and to find more ways to adapt and evolve our platform and ecosystem policies to ensure that users and advertisers are protected from bad behavior," a Google blog post reads.




AfterDawn: News

YouTube TV gets CineMax and HBO, including HBO Max

Written by James Delahunty @ 21 Feb 2020 5:53

YouTube TV gets CineMax and HBO, including HBO Max Google's YouTube TV service has been boosted by a deal with WarnerMedia to bring new channels to the service, and retain pre-existing popular channels added in 2018.

While HBO and CineMax are on other platforms such as Amazon Prime, YouTube TV is first to get HBO Max as well. YouTube TV will also continue to retain other cable networks from WarnerMedia, such as TBS, TNT, CNN, Adult Swin, Cartoon Network, HLN, and others. Those channels have been available since 2018 through a deal with WarnerMedia.

Google's YouTube TV service provides programming from more 70 networks, along with live sports.



"Our commitment at YouTube TV is to deliver TV to our members how and when they want it," said Lori Conkling, global head of partnerships at YouTube TV, reports Variety.

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AfterDawn: News

Qualcomm's new 5G modem offers best of both worlds approach

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 19 Feb 2020 9:10

Qualcomm's new 5G modem offers best of both worlds approach As the world's largest mobile conference Mobile World Congress had to cancel first time ever due to coronavirus issues, companies are announcing their new products in separate and mostly online fashion.

One of the more influential mobile companies is that chip company Qualcomm. The company provides huge amount of system-on-chips for Andoid phones, and this year there's one big difference maker.

It is of course 5G. Qualcomm has announced that it will be releasing the new Snapdragon X60 5G modem soon. This next-generation 5G chip is bringing big improvements over its predecessors Snapdragon X55 and X50.

Qualcomm isn't still ready to reveal all the facts about their new modem but they've shared with us some key features. The new modem, accompanied by a new RF front-end chip and a new more compact QTM535 mmWave antenna, can aggregate connections between mmWave (high speeds) and sub-6 Ghz (better penetration).

All this while being their first 5G modem produced with 5 nm process. This means that it is very versatile, nearly universal in fact, more energy efficient, has smaller footprint, and provides great performance.

The chip can max out at 7.5 Gbps over mmWave and 5 Gbps over Sub-6. Upload speeds are going to be up to 3 Gbps.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft releases all-encompassing Office app for Android

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Feb 2020 6:45

Microsoft releases all-encompassing Office app for Android Google Docs is great and all, but a lot of companies and even individuals still swear by the benefits of Microsoft's Office suite. These days Microsoft's offering on mobile is pretty strong too, which is more the reason to use it.

However, previously the app selection has been a little confusing. You'd have to download a different app for every different type of document and manage everything separately. In fact, this confusing method has tainted even Google, who now offers separate apps for example spreadsheet (Sheets) and documents (Docs).

Fortunately Microsoft has noticed themselves that this isn't the way to do it. They've now released a new Office app for Android which includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

You can managed and edit all the files without having to install a selection of apps. In addition, the new Office app can download and open files from your OneDrive.

However, there's no tablet optimized UI for the app which is a bummer for those that like to edit their files on the fly with an Android tablet. What's even more unfortunate is the fact that the app is forced in vertical view and can't be rotated.

Perhaps this is will be fixed later.

If you'd like to try the new app, you can find it here.




AfterDawn: News

Apple warns investors: iPhone production issues due to coronavirus

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Feb 2020 2:32

Apple warns investors: iPhone production issues due to coronavirus Apple has issued an update on guidance for investors yesterday. The company starts the letter by acknowledging the people affected and struggling to contain the coronavirus.

The company is increasing the donations to fight against the deadly virus that has taken officially nearly 2,000 lives.

However, the beef of the letter is of course the statement that Apple is struggling to return to previously estimated production capacity. Guidance released at the previous quarterly report in late January estimated that relative normalcy in production would return faster.

However, while production facilities are slowly returning to normal pace, it hasn't happened as soon and as fast as Apple anticipated.

This means that Apple doesn't expect to meet previous estimates in terms of revenue. This is due to iPhone production decreasing in China, where the devices are built, as well sales is China dropping due to reduced working hours and closed stores – again both due to the virus outbreak.

According to the letter, sales in other regions is going strong and are in line with previous estimates.




AfterDawn: News

Sony is ready to start teasing us about PS5 details, join mailing list

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Feb 2020 12:36

Sony is ready to start teasing us about PS5 details, join mailing list We've known for a long time already that Sony is preparing a PlayStation 5 launch later this year. In fact, the company has said that the release windows is "Holiday 2020."

This likely means a release sometime in November or December, perhaps October at the earliest. However, there's no official release date, or price, or even release titles yet.

Sony seems to be eager to already promote its upcoming gaming console, as it has released a new web form where enthusiasts can register for a mailing list that'll ensure you'll be among the first to hear about PS5 details, such as pricing and release date.

There's no announcement yet associated with the new page. It still only says "PlayStation 5 is coming. Launches holiday 2020" but the subtext reveals that Sony wants to start teasing us about PS5.

We've begun to share some of the incredible features you can expect from PlayStation 5, but we're not quite ready to fully unveil the next generation of PlayStation. Sign up below to be among the first to receive updates as we announce them, including news on the PS5™ release date, PS5 price and upcoming roster of PS5 launch games.

We'll have to wait and see how soon and indeed how frequently we'll be notified via email about new details of the upcoming PS5 release.

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AfterDawn: News

World's most powerful weather computer is Met Office's new $1.6 billion machine

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Feb 2020 11:11

World's most powerful weather computer is Met Office's new $1.6 billion machine The UK's meteorological office, known as Met Office, has decided on one of its largest purchases. It's not a satellite, or even a constellation of satellites, but instead a computer.

This weather computer is said to cost around 1.2 billion British pounds or $1.6 billion. As one can imagine, it will be the most powerful weather super computer in the world.

While it seems utterly insane to spend billions on weather computers, this thing might actually be able to pay itself back in performance. According to Met Office, the new super computer can pin point weather forecasts to squares only a kilometer wide.

The predecessor, Cray XC40 super computer, has to rely on accuracy that is 10 kilometers wide. Essentially this means that Met Office can calculate and accurately forecast weather for neighborhoods instead of entire cities.

In fact, the super computer isn't even limited to a 1000 meter accuracy. They can improve the accuracy for important target, such as airports, where forecasts can be as pinpoint accurate as 300 meters per square.

Storm Dennis has been ravaging the UK and Ireland, flooding areas and even killing a few people. This is certainly going to make it easier for the government to spend massive amounts of pounds sterling on weather computers.

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AfterDawn: News

Samsung's Galaxy S20 Ultra has an insane camera that comes with a storage problem

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 14 Feb 2020 12:44

Samsung's Galaxy S20 Ultra has an insane camera that comes with a storage problem This week has been big for Samsung. The company came out and announced their second generation foldable smartphone in Galaxy Z Flip, wireless Galaxy Buds+ earbuds, as well as the new Galaxy S20 lineup with the completely new Galaxy S20 Ultra.

While we did run through the specs and features of the S20 lineup in total, there are some interesting tidbits that might need a little more chewing. One in particular is the camera on the highest end S20 Ultra.

The model itself is a new venture for Samsung. Instead of resorting to last year's formula with a more budget-friendly S20e they decided to double down on high-end specs and release the ultimate smartphone in what is the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

The specs on the Ultra are top-notch throughout but one thing that really stands out is the camera. Even the look of it seems to mean business. There's the words Space Zoom and 100X written on the camera module.

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AfterDawn: News

WATCH: Stranger Things 4 teaser drops massive spoiler

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Feb 2020 11:30

WATCH: Stranger Things 4 teaser drops massive spoiler Netflix picks Valentine's Day to release a surprise teaser for Stranger Things 4 - From Russia with Love.

Fans of the Netflix hit are in for a surprise today. For Valentine's Day, a Stranger Things 4 teaser trailer showed up on Netflix channels titled "From Russia with Love". Within the teaser is a significant surprise for fans of the show which will generate buzz for the upcoming fourth season of Stranger Things, currently in production.

Be warned, the teaser below does contain a very large spoiler which we then cover the significance of.



So there it is, the question surrounding Chief Jim Hopper's fate has been answered. At the end of Season 3, Hopper is presumed dead after a significant energetic explosion in an underground base. Fans of the show had noted that the final shot before the explosion didn't seem to show Hopper at all, while others suggested he may just be out of shot. What followed was a memorable sequence of emotion-laden scenes as Hopper's death seemed to break apart the iconic group in Hawkins Indiana, with the Byers family leaving with Eleven for pastures new.

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AfterDawn: News

Samsung's Galaxy Buds+ offer better sound and battery life, won't challenge AirPods Pro

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 13 Feb 2020 1:51

Samsung's Galaxy Buds+ offer better sound and battery life, won't challenge AirPods Pro Samsung announced last year their first-generation Galaxy Buds. At the time of the announcement pretty much exactly a year ago they were a really good competitor for AirPods.

Now the Korean company has announced the new generation of their fully wireless earbuds, Galaxy Buds+. This time around, the competition is way stiffer, including Apple's noice-cancelling AirPods Pro, and a metric ton of other rivals.

So what do the "plus" models offer that the older Galaxy Buds don't? Well, a bigger battery. That's pretty much it.

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AfterDawn: News

World's largest mobile conference cancelled due to coronavirus

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 13 Feb 2020 1:11

World's largest mobile conference cancelled due to coronavirus Mobile World Congress has served for years as the platform for the new mobile innovation and smartphone announcements. The conference is held every year in Barcelona at the end of February, and this year didn't seem to differ from the regular pattern.

However, the spread of coronavirus in China had posed new difficulties to the gathering that was popular among Chinese tech companies. Earlier this week we told about some high profile exhibitors dropping out and organizer's new safety protocols.

Now, a few day later, the organizer GSMA has announced that they will be cancelling Mobile World Congress 2020 due to these difficulties.

According to GSMA, the risk of coronavirus spreading is too high so they've decided to cancel the conference. Although the ultimate decision came from GSMA, the decision had really been made after now several, if not dozens, of high profile companies had cancelled their attendance.

This is the first time Mobile World Congress has been cancelled in its existence since 2006 (or 2008 under the current name).




AfterDawn: News

Samsung releases foldable flip phone, here's Galaxy Z Flip

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 13 Feb 2020 11:08

Samsung releases foldable flip phone, here's Galaxy Z Flip Samsung announced their new Galaxy S lineup yesterday introducing the Galaxy S20, S20+, and the new top tier S20 Ultra. Those phones are impressive in their own right, and you can read more about them in our overview.

However, there was another smartphone, a one more thing of sorts, that Samsung announced in San Francisco. The second generation of foldable phones, which follows Motorola's new Razr in design.

The new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip was already teased in an ad that ran during the Oscars a few days ago. Even before that leaks had pretty much confirmed the existence of said phone.

Now, though, we have all the facts and juicy details.

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