Category Archive : Gadgets

iPhone 11 series is officially launched with three cameras

Designedly, the iPhone 11 comes with a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD screen. The real difference is on the back of the phone.

The huge camera module and the logo moved to the middle became the business card that it was recognized at a glance.

In addition, iPhone 11 also offers 6 new colors of red, black, green, purple, yellow and white, of which green and purple are the new color matching this update.

The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max continue the dual-camera route, with screen sizes of 5.8 inches and 6.5 inches, but upgraded to a Super Retina XDR (OLED) screen that saves 15% in power consumption, with a maximum display brightness of 1200 special.

According to Apple, the iPhone 11’s battery life will be one hour longer than the iPhone XR, making it the longest iPhone for Apple; the iPhone 11 Pro series is 4-5 hours longer than the iPhone XS series.

Realme Q

Oppo’s New RealMe Q will be waterproof

RealMe, a project of Oppo is working on Q series. As per the latest update, RealMe Q will be waterproof.

RealMe Q will have 48mp camera with Waterproof feature

Realme Q is loaded with a flagship Snapdragon processor.

This phone will be loaded with 20W VOOC fast charging feature. This is the limited information that was made available to Tech Wire Hub as of now. RealMe Q will release on September 5.

After months of waiting, its finally here – The Samsung Galaxy Fold is getting released!

After a long delay due to last moment discovery of embarrassing flaws, Samsung is now releasing its first fold-able phone. The launch of the Samsung Galaxy Fold is finally near and is just a few days away.

People began registering for the USD 2000 foldable smartphone recently in China. Samsung is to release the phone on September 6, 2019, which coincides with the opening day of the 2019 IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin.

What a day to launch the new phone!

When was the release date chosen?

Yonhap News Agency reports Samsung and other mobile operators are discussing the launch date to be September 6 in South Korea itself. Samsung will use the event to showcase the revised model at the 2019 IFA electronics fair in Berlin.

At the moment, it seems as Samsung is quite confident to bring the release period earlier than anticipated. Earlier reports indicated the phone’s launch to be later in September.

The initial shipment of the Samsung Galaxy Fold for South Korean consumers numbers between 20,000 to 30,000 units. Its price in South Korea will be 2.3 million equal per unit (equal to USD$ 1902). Samsung is expected to launch the folding smartphone in China & the United States in September 2019 but at later dates.

Any corrections made in the Galaxy Fold?

Samsung has revealed a few corrections it made to the Galaxy Fold, including:

  • tucking in the protective screen layer,
  • addition of further metal layers beneath the screen to reinforce it
  • reduction of space between the body & the hinge.

The corrections to the model were made after reviewers reported major issues with the review units of the Galaxy Fold, such as broken, bulging & flickering screens. The reviewers also peeled off the protective screen layer by mistake, assuming that it was a screen protector. But it later turned out to be a key component of the phone’s display.

This is what caused the phone’s launch to be delayed.

Brief overview of the price and features of the Galaxy Fold

The current handset of the Samsung Galaxy Fold is priced at USD$ 2,000, an amount most consumers are not willing to pay. Currently, it is not available to a larger segment of the population.

Samsung is planning to use an affordable design to reduce its price with an internal storage of just 256 GB. That is half of what the current Galaxy Fold offers (i.e. 512 GB).

Further specifications of the phone are:

  • A 7.3-inch primary flexible AMOLED display.
  • An operating system of Android 9.0 with one UI.
  • Uses a CPU of Snapdragon 855.
  • 12 GB RAM.
  • External display (which is closed) is 4.6 inches with HD+ display.
  • Main display is of 7.3 inches (QXGA +).
  • Rear Camera of 12 megapixel wide-angle (f1.5 to f/2.4), 12-megapixel telephoto (f/2.4) and 16 megapixel ultra-wide (f/2.2).
  • Closed front camera of 12 megapixel (f/2.2).
  • Open front camera of 10-megapixel selfie (f/2.2), with 8-megapixel RGB depth (f/1.9).
  • Fingerprint sensing power button.

It is currently available in the colors: Space Silver, Cosmos Black, Martian Green and Astro Blue.

Smartphones and other gadgets that are rivalling the Samsung Galaxy Fold

At the moment, Huawei’s Foldable smartphone Mate X was also scheduled to arrive in September. But, Huawei reported that it is unlikely to release any earlier than November. The only other competing gadget to the Samsung Galaxy fold is Apple’s foldable iPad.

Will Samsung capitalize on the smartphone market with the new & improved Galaxy Fold?

Samsung has fixed the problems in the hinge and in the screen with reinforcements & extra layers. It will hopefully survive thousands of folds it will endure without showing any signs of wear. It is confident that the Galaxy Fold will have a better life span as compared to the normal smartphone.

If the Galaxy Fold succeeds after the launch, then the phone will definitely be able to succeed and thrive in the market and win billions of hearts too.

Huawei Is Testing New Aurora OS As A Replacement for Android

Even after HarmonyOS, Huawei continues its search for alternatives to Android. As a test, the giant could sell 360,000 tablets under the Russian Aurora OS system to the Russian government.

Huawei, caught in an uncomfortable position internationally, has already developed HarmonyOS, a connected object operating system that could be used as a way out if the use of Android becomes too precarious.

“It’s a pilot project,” anonymous source told Reuters. We see it as the first step in launching the Russian OS on Huawei devices. ” The firm would like to sell tablets under Aurora OS to the Russian Ministry of Communications for the next census of 147 million Russians, as of this October. But we understand that it would be a way for Huawei to test life-size the implementation of Aurora OS on real devices.

Aurora OS was originally a Finnish operating system called Sailfish OS, based on Linux and dedicated to mobile devices. It was then dubbed by Moscow and the current owner of Aurora OS is none other than Rostelecom, the Russian public telecom operator. The latter happens to be the only entity entitled to purchase tablets for the census.

In total, the contract would provide for the purchase of 360,000 Huawei tablets under Aurora OS by August 2020. Nothing is yet final, as negotiations are currently underway.

Google Assistant remains much better than Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa

The Google system has achieved this year far better results than its competitors.

Correct answers in 93% of cases

Overall, the three assistants did well for comprehension, with 100% in terms of understanding for Google Assistant, 99.9% for Apple Siri and 99.8% for Amazon Alexa. Nevertheless, where Google Assistant does best, it is at the level of the results given. Thus, the Google system could provide a correct answer in 92.9% of cases, against 83.1% for Siri and 79.8% for Alexa.

In detail, Google is doing particularly well for navigation – with 98% of positive responses – and information – 96%. More surprisingly, Google Assistant does better than Alexa on queries related to e-commerce with 92% of completed queries against 71% on the Amazon wizard. Nevertheless, Google Assistant is overtaken by Siri in the interactions related to the orders of the smartphone, to send an SMS, to make a call or to access the calendar. Apple’s service was able to complete 93% of tasks compared to 86% for Google Assistant.

The results of this year’s study are consistent with last year’s results, where Google Assistant was already leading the way.

Sales of Xiaomi and Samsung Goes Up in Europe Beating iPhone

With nearly 45.1 million smartphones sold on the old continent in the second quarter of 2019, the sector seems to be afloat, especially with the rapid growth of Xiaomi and the dominance of Samsung. In contrast, Apple and Huawei are pale and fall sharply in Europe.

In the first place of the ranking, there is Samsung which recorded a good progression of + 20% compared to the second quarter of 2018. It will not be so much its Galaxy S10 which will seduce on the old continent but rather its mid-range, the Galaxy A. The South Korean company has distributed 3.2 million Galaxy A50 (the smartphone sold the most in Europe this quarter, all manufacturers combined), 2.2 million Galaxy A40 and 1.8 million Galaxy A20e. In all, it is nearly 18.3 million units sold, allowing Samsung to rise as the European leader with 40.4% market share.

As for Apple , which falls in third place, the firm records a heavy fall of -17% compared to last year, with a market share in Europe which sinks to 14.1% In all, the Californian manufacturer will have has sold 6.4 million iPhone, including 1.8 million iPhone XR, its best-selling model on the old continent.

Samsung Launches 108-megapixel Camera Sensor

Samsung has released a 108-megapixel sensor on its smartphone. More than ever. Samsung ISOCELL Bright HMX was established in cooperation with Xiaomi.

According to Samsung, it will be the first camera sensor that can surpass the 100 million pixel milestone of smartphones. It not only produces high-resolution and high-quality images but also captures 6016 x 3388 video at 30 fps.

With an efficient picture, it produces extraordinary images in intense lighting conditions. It will take a huge 1 /1.33-inch area. Compared to common camera sensors in smartphones, HMX consumes more light in dim light. Thanks to Tetracell technology, it will produce good photos of 27 million pixels.

Samsung and Xiaomi have not announced which mobile phone will be the first mobile phone to use this sensor. It is rumored that Xiaomi Mi Mix 4 will be the first person to use this camera sensor. It is expected to be used by the end of this year.

Stop Eaves-Dropping Alexa; How To Stop Alexa From Listening In To Your Conversations?

While we can’t imagine our lives without digital voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, recent reports have raised concern that these household staples are not just unquestioning minions, ready to serve, they are listening more often than people realize. I mean after all, how else would they respond to the “Alexa” wake word in a heartbeat? This has got people asking how to stop Alexa from listening in on their conversations.

Not only content with eavesdropping, they are also recording snippets of conversations which may be reviewed by humans in order to gauge how well the systems fulfill commands. According to Bloomberg,

“The recordings are transcribed, annotated and then fed back into the software as part of an effort to eliminate gaps in Alexa’s understanding of human speech and help it better respond to commands.”

After the startling revelation, people are frenzied over their privacy and left to wonder how much they have given away to strangers. Let’s face it, advertisers already know our weaknesses and desires; how far until what we desire walks right up to our doorstep in a jiffy?

Wondering how to stop Alexa from listening into your conversations? Here are a few ways to take back control and make sure no-one in your household really listens to you; especially not workers at Amazon! Here’s how:

How to Stop Alexa from Listening?

Use The Mute Button

For people who think that the “mute” button on the Amazon Echo devices exists to lull us into a false sense of security, it’s not all that bad. If you still have doubts, the teardowns of the Amazon Echo Dot show reveal that no voltage passes through the mic circuitry when in the mute mode. This mute mode is legit to be sure. While Mics may not need batteries to work, they can at least not record when shut out of the rest of the Echo. If you don’t know where the mute button is, look for a circle with a line through it or a micro-phone icon.

When you are not actively using your Echo device, its prudent to keep it on mute. But there’s a catch to it: what use is Alexa if it can’t take impromptu across-the-room commands. Nevertheless, it keeps those hush-hush conversations privy. When on mute, a red line appears on the Show series screens or the LED ring shines red, so that you can be sure that Alexa is behaving.

Switch The Camera Slider

If you are using Amazon Echo devices with a screen, such as the Echo Show 5 or Echo Show smart displays, why not use a camera slider to obstruct the camera view with a layer of opaque plastic. You can still utter commands to Alexa but block the camera that enables voice chat through services like Skype, since it leaves a lot of users uncomfortable knowing that the camera (and in turn, an amused Amazon employee) could be spying on them.

Switch off the Drop-in feature

One of the most controversial features of the Amazon series is that it affords your household and your contacts the ability to just “Drop In” and start a conversation via two Echo devices, much like a phone call. This makes your Amazon devices act like a video and audio intercom. Someone in front of the Echo device in the living room can get through to someone in front of the show in the upstairs bedroom. Some experts have suggested that a connection, for instant a fellow Echo owner you have in your contact list, could listen in on your home conversations.

Here’s where the problem starts. You don’t necessarily need a phone call to connect the two devices when they can communicate with each other automatically. It’s not so much as Amazon workers listening into your conversations as your 7-year-old spying on you. To disable this feature, fire up the Alexa app on your phone, go to Settings>Device Settings. Tap on any device and tap Communication. Turn the toggle to off for Drop in.

Tweak Your Privacy Settings

“We take customer privacy seriously and continuously review our practices and procedures,” the Amazon spokeswoman wrote in an email Friday. “We’ll also be updating information we provide to customers to make our practices more clear.”

In the wake of the recent backlash about Amazon employees listening in to your Amazon interactions and requests to improve Amazon’s transcription and test out new features, Amazon is changing its settings in a new policy which took effect last Friday, so people can opt out of having their voice recordings reviewed by Amazon employees.

  • Fire up the Alexa App and tap the menu button
  • Go to settings and select “Alexa Account”, scroll to the bottom and tap on “Alexa Privacy.”
  • Under the blue banner that appears, scroll down to “Manage How Your Data Improves Alexa”.
  • Notice how the first three items have been set to ‘on’ by default. Toggle these (especially the ‘Use Messages to Improve Transcriptions’ and ‘Help Develop New Features’) to the OFF position.
  • Ignore the warning that says that “new features” may not work properly if you proceed to make your recorded commands slightly less accessible to Amazon.

Prune Your Call History

As a last resort, you can log into your history and wipe out all the conversations you had with Alexa, logged on your Echo. While it definitely doesn’t stop Alexa from listening to you or recording your conversations, it removes all previous records it had of doing so. To do so, go to Settings > Alexa Privacy > Review Voice History. You will be presented with a list of your most recent Echo interactions. Scroll to the Date Range box and select ‘All History’, then tap on the Delete All Recordings for All History link. This gets rids of every Amazon record on file. However, this may wreak havoc on the performance of Echo, or so the disclaimer says.

Amazon also allows deletion by voice, which lets you delete recordings simply by saying “Alexa, delete everything I said today,” or “Alexa, delete what I just said”.

apple arcade

Apple Launches Subscription Video Game Service: Apple Arcade

Apple’s video game service will be released this fall, but the price has not been released.

Apple is launching a video game subscription service on March 25. 100 exclusive games will be available at the launch of Apple Arcade. The games will be accessible offline and the player will be able to resume his game where he left it on any device under macOS, iOS or tvOS.

Apple Arcade will be available next fall in 150 countries, including France. The price is unknown.

Could Fitness Tracking Apps and Devices Be Leading to Disordered Eating? Research Says so…

As a fitness aficionado, I set quite a score by my fitness watch. It tracked my burned calories, my steps, my heartrate, and my workouts. It permitted me to run marathons without having to lug my phone along to keep tabs on my pace and see how many miles I had run. It perked me up with motivators when I hit my move goal. It told me to get up after I had given in to lethargy and been idle for more than an hour at a time.

Similarly, I had literally been tapping in [to MyFitnessPal] every day for years. It seems innocuous when you are just starting out, but I can definitely say I got addicted. Every morsel that went into my body also had to be logged into my diary. I would fret over numbers since my Keto diet demanded macro management, I would find myself weighing something as insignificant as a lettuce leaf, I would worry if something I ate sent me over, I would feel wrecked with guilt if I fell behind my calorie goals for the day. Soon I started picking foods that I could input into MyFitnessPal, instead of eating home-cooked meals. Even when I had a binge, a total, utter of control (perhaps nothing more than a full scoop of ice cream), I logged it as best I could… it fueled my warped illusion of control – however, in reality, it was controlling me.

I felt I had to look, eat, train a certain way, since people were watching. I wanted to have a six-pack, be the strongest, leanest, the quickest. I worked hard and did get good at all of those things but as a consequence, I inadvertently fell victim to eating disorders. Within a few months, I was starting to burn more calories than I had eaten. Wrapped up in the complicated brain chemistry of motivation and reward, I would boast with pride when my calorie counter would go negative, or whenever I received a congratulatory message from some app!

In addition to counting calories, I was counting my steps as well, which further aggravated the compulsion to do a minimum number of steps and walk a certain distance each day. If I ever did more one day, it would become my new minimum the following time. Over time, I started getting so distressed because I never had time to do things as I had to get my steps in.

I tapped my progress obsessively – so obsessively, in fact, that my body was trimming off more than was needed. A couple of months down the lane, I started suffering from Panic attacks, mental and physical exhaustion, kidney problems, and migraines. After being hospitalized for days, diagnosed with “Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder”, and months of therapy, it dawned on me; What was I doing to my body?

The Link Between Disordered Eating And Fitness Tracking

Image result for my fitness pal

While apps like MyFitnessPal and fitness tracking devices can come in quite handy for some people, obsessing over calories burned and logging every morsel is nevertheless unhealthy. In fact, Heather Hausenblas, Ph.D., a professor in the department of kinesiology at Jacksonville University in Florida, highlights the importance of raising awareness about the role of fitness and calorie-counting apps in exercise addiction and eating disorders.

“For the most part, these apps do good,” says Hausenblas. “But for certain individuals, the constant checking and the obsession about it becomes really negative. With people who are on the cusp of disordered behaviors, it can push them over the edge.”

A 2017 study analyzing 493 college-age students found (via tracking devices and fitness apps) and disordered eating attitudes. Participants were entailed to note their calorie counts or fitness levels using tracking devices. “Individuals who reported using calorie trackers manifested higher levels of eating concern… Additionally, fitness tracking was uniquely associated with ED symptomatology,” researchers found, concluding that “for some individuals, these devices might do more harm than good.”

A Perverse Game Of Arithmetic

The number of connected wearable devices worldwide, of which health-focused wearables hold a significant portion, just pushed the 74 million threshold in 2019, and is projected to soar up to more than 1 billion by 2022. Even devices that are not inherently famous for their health-focus, such as the Apple or Samsung watch, have in-built exercise tracking, calories burn, and step count. This means that you don’t even have to invest in a wearable or smartwatch to track your fitness regime; data about your body comes at you unsolicited.

Dr Carolyn Plateau, a lecturer in psychology at Loughborough University, has deeply scrutinized the effect of health-focused apps and fitness trackers on regular users. Her most recent study explores the differences in mental wellbeing, disordered exercise, and disordered eating between people who record food intake and calories via these mechanisms and those who don’t. Here’s what she has to say,

“Our findings were interesting as they indicated that those who did track their activity or food intake showed higher levels of both disordered eating and exercise than those who did not. In particular, higher levels of purging behavior (e.g. excessive or driven exercise to control or modify weight or shape) was found among the tracking group.” 

Another psychotherapist specializing in eating disorders, Amanda Perl, backs up this study. According to Amanda, excessive exercising, strict dieting, and Calorie counting are synonymous with disordered eating, and fitness trackers and apps can exacerbate these symptoms in people who have had a history of eating disorders, or those too fixated on these things. Even worse, this obsession with goal setting and health-focused metrics throws balance to the winds, since trackers can aggravate feelings of self-loathing, failure, body shaming, and feeling out of control.

You may not instantly fall prey to disordered eating behaviors, but you may start setting impossibly high standards for yourself. By promoting an image of perfectionism, these apps take the reigns over your life and push you into an abysmal illusion that leaves you vulnerable to depression.

 These apps play on people’s desperation to control what goes into their body and the effect it has. At first it can be almost therapeutic to log what you’ve eaten, but it becomes a perverse game of arithmetic that drowns you in numbers. Constant monitoring of food intake and physical activity inadvertently triggers the symptoms of disordered eating and fuels our already prevalent obsessive and highly self-critical perfectionistic tendencies.

Not to mention, Competition and comparison adds to the stigma about eating disorders being attention-seeking. Many individuals with eating disorders take to constantly comparing their weight, but now with social media and technology, time is irrelevant, and the comparison group is global.

Psychologist and eating disorder specialist Dr. Stacey Rosenfeld says that,

“Sufferers can compare their food intake against someone’s from another country who posted the data three months prior. The comparisons are infinite. So, if someone is trying to restrict their intake but didn’t do as ‘good’ a job as someone that posted their intake prior, this might fuel distress, resulting in increased restriction in order to alleviate the distress around the perceived failure.”