Qualcomm launches its next-gen 5G modem and mmWave antenna


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There can be little doubt that 5G is going to take center stage at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. After years of hype without any real products, this is finally going to be the year that 5G — and especially 5G phones — will become available. 5G phones obviously need 5G modems, so maybe it’s no surprise that Qualcomm decided to get ahead of the MWC news cycle by launching its next-gen 5G modem and new mmWave antenna today.

As the company stressed throughout its press conference ahead of today’s announcement, it believes that the 5G rollout will be quite different from what we saw with 4G a few years ago. That launch, the company argues, was comparably slow, with only a few operators launching on a single band in a few select cities and with only a handful of available phones. The 5G rollout, however, is going

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‘There’s no way the US can crush us,’ Huawei founder claims


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Huawei’s founder has come out fighting against the U.S. government after he claimed that “there’s no way the US can crush us.”

Ren Zhengfei, who founded the telecom company in 1987, doesn’t often make public statements, but, in a rare interview with the BBC, he defiantly claimed that Huawei’s business is growing stronger amid pressure from the U.S. government, which is pursuing criminal charges over alleged business dealings in Iran. Under those charges, CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested during a trip to Canada.

“The world needs Huawei because we are more advanced. Even if they persuade more countries not to use us temporarily, we could just scale things down a little bit,” Ren told the BBC via a translator. “Because the U.S. keeps targeting us and finding fault with us, it has forced us to improve our products and services.”

Ren called the arrest of

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Nissan’s old Leaf batteries can power this smart pop-up camper for one week


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Nissan has turned its old Leaf batteries into an off-grid camping companion.

The automaker’s Nissan Energy subsidiary worked with camper manufacturer Opus to create the ultimate “smart” pop-up trailer that integrates cells recovered from its first-generation electric vehicles to provide off-grid power. Add in one to two recharges of the accompanying 400W solar panel accessory and campers can listen to tunes and use their smartphones and other devices, including a microwave, for about 7 days, the companies said. The battery pack can be recharged by the solar panel in 2 to 4 hours.

The Nissan x OPUS concept camper debuted this week at the The Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show in the UK. Inside the smart camper — code for LED lighting and USB sockets for charging — is a veritable glamping wonderland. You can almost smell the pour-over coffee.

Unlike many other concepts that debut at auto shows, components of the

Nissan x AirOPUS

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TCL leaks foretell a weird future for foldable phones


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


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Foldables are going to get weird. And I’m here for it. Just check out these leaked TCL renders from CNET. All manner of strange and wonderful folding devices — two tablets and three smartphones, including one that flips all the way around into a Futurama-style bracelet. There are renders for tablets and phones that fold both in and out.

Granted, few if any will actually come to fruition, but if this first wave of foldables opens up smartphone design in new and interesting ways like these, the industry will be all the better for it. Of course, we’re still in the early stages of all of this — and the first wave of foldables have yet to prove themselves of interest to the smartphone-buying audience beyond simple novelties.

We’ll be seeing a fair bit more of the space week at Mobile World Congress, along with Wednesday’s Samsung event, which is

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Report: Voice assistants in use to triple to 8 billion by 2023


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The use of voice assistants is set to triple over the next few years, according to a new forecast from the U.K.-based analysts at Juniper Research. The firm estimates there will be 8 billion digital voice assistants in use by 2023, up from the 2.5 billion assistants in use at the end of 2018.

The majority of those assistants will live on smartphones, where Google Assistant and Siri offer voice assistants to Android and iOS users, respectively.

In fact, Google already announced its voice assistant would be enabled on a billion devices as of last month, thanks to its integration with Android. Meanwhile, Amazon’s Alexa — which still primarily lives on smart speakers like Echo — has reached more than 100 million devices.

Juniper, however, predicts that the fastest-growing category for voice over the next several years will not be smart speakers. It will be smart TVs.

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Sub-brands are the new weapon in China’s smartphone war


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One of China’s top smartphone brands Vivo appears to have joined its fellows Oppo, Huawei and Xiaomi in setting up a new sub-brand as a softening market and heightened competition at home drive players to venture upon their original reach.

A new smartphone brand called iQoo made its debut on Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, on Tuesday by greeting in English: “Hello, this is iQoo.” It also playfully encouraged people to guess how its name is pronounced, as the spelling doesn’t resonate with either Chinese or English speakers. Vivo immediately reposted iQoo’s message, calling iQoo a “new friend.”

Vivo has not further revealed its ties with iQoo, although the latter’s Weibo account is verified under Vivo’s corporate name. TechCrunch has contacted Vivo and will update the story when we have more information.

vivo iqoo

Screenshot of iQoo’s first Weibo post

Sub-brands have become a popular tactic for Chinese smartphone

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Xiaomi-backed electric toothbrush Soocas raises $30 million Series C


This post is by Rita Liao from TechCrunch


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China’s Soocas continues to jostle with global toothbrush giants as it raises 200 million yuan ($30 million) in a series C funding round. The Shenzhen-based oral care manufacturer has secured the new capital from lead investor Vision Knight Capital, with Kinzon Capital, Greenwoods Investment, Yunmu Capital and Cathay Capital also participating in the round.

The new proceeds arrived less than a year after Soocas, one of Xiaomi’s home appliance portfolio startups, snapped up close to 100 million yuan in a Series B round last March. Best known for its budget smartphones, Xiaomi has a grand plan to construct an Internet of Things empire that encompasses smart TVs to electric toothbrushes, and it has been gearing up by shelling out strategic investments for consumer goods makers such as Soocas.

Founded in 2015, Soocas’s rise reflects a growing demand for personal care accessories as people’s disposable income increases. Electric toothbrushes are a

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Apple tells app developers to disclose or remove screen recording code


This post is by Zack Whittaker from TechCrunch


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Apple is telling app developers to remove or properly disclose their use of analytics code that allows them to record how a user interacts with their iPhone apps — or face removal from the company’s app store, TechCrunch can confirm.

In an email, an Apple spokesperson said: “Protecting user privacy is paramount in the Apple ecosystem. Our App Store Review Guidelines require that apps request explicit user consent and provide a clear visual indication when recording, logging, or otherwise making a record of user activity.”

“We have notified the developers that are in violation of these strict privacy terms and guidelines, and will take immediate action if necessary,” the spokesperson added.

It follows an investigation by TechCrunch that revealed major companies, like Expedia, Hollister, and Hotels.com, were using a third-party analytics tool, to record every tap and swipe inside the app. We found that none of the apps we tested

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Motorola’s G7 line arrives this spring, starting at $199


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


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Weeks of leaks haven’t left much to the imagination. But for those waiting for the real thing, the latest iteration of Motorola’s budget G line just became officially official as of this morning — and with a few weeks to spare ahead of Mobile World Congress. Of course, the Moto G7 line isn’t really aimed at the MWC crowd.

That show tends to be far more focused on premium flagships, while, as Motorola put it to me ahead of launch, this line is for “people who say, ‘I don’t need all this phone.’” In other words, people who don’t want to spend $1,000+ for a flagship. As such, the line starts at $199, putting it in line with earlier models.

As ever, the line will be available in three somewhat convoluted models. There’s the G7, the G7 Play, G7 Power and G7 Plus. The Plus, which brings a number

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Many popular iPhone apps secretly record your screen without asking


This post is by Zack Whittaker from TechCrunch


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Many major companies, like Air Canada, Hollister and Expedia, are recording every tap and swipe you make on their iPhone apps. In most cases you won’t even realize it. And they don’t need to ask for permission.

You can assume that most apps are collecting data on you. Some even monetize your data without your knowledge. But TechCrunch has found several popular iPhone apps, from hoteliers, travel sites, airlines, cell phone carriers, banks and financiers, that don’t ask or make it clear — if at all — that they know exactly how you’re using their apps.

Worse, even though these apps are meant to mask certain fields, some inadvertently expose sensitive data.

Apps like Abercrombie & Fitch, Hotels.com and Singapore Airlines also use Glassbox, a customer experience analytics firm, one of a handful of companies that allows developers to embed “session replay” technology into their apps. These session replays let

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Many popular iPhone apps secretly record your screen without asking


This post is by Zack Whittaker from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Many major companies, like Air Canada, Hollister and Expedia, are recording every tap and swipe you make on their iPhone apps. In most cases you won’t even realize it. And they don’t need to ask for permission.

You can assume that most apps are collecting data on you. Some even monetize your data without your knowledge. But TechCrunch has found several popular iPhone apps, from hoteliers, travel sites, airlines, cell phone carriers, banks and financiers, that don’t ask or make it clear — if at all — that they know exactly how you’re using their apps.

Worse, even though these apps are meant to mask certain fields, some inadvertently expose sensitive data.

Apps like Abercrombie & Fitch, Hotels.com and Singapore Airlines also use Glassbox, a customer experience analytics firm, one of a handful of companies that allows developers to embed “session replay” technology into their apps. These session replays let

Continue reading “Many popular iPhone apps secretly record your screen without asking”

If You’re Going to Play Fortnite on Your Phone, Use a Controller


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As of last week, Fortnite, the biggest game in the world and the bane of high school teachers everywhere, finally allows you to use Bluetooth controllers on mobile devices.

Read more…

WhatsApp adds support for Face ID/Touch ID biometric lock on iOS


This post is by Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch


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WhatsApp users updating to the latest version of the messaging app on iOS will find a new setting lurking at the bottom of the ‘Privacy’ menu that adds support for Apple’s biometric authentication technologies.

WhatsApp users on iOS can now tap into Apple’s biometrics for an extra layer of security

Under the new setting, called ‘Screen Lock’, users of WhatsApp on iOS can tap through to another menu to add an additional layer of security by requiring either their facial biometric or a fingerprint to unlock the messaging app.

iPhone users are either offered the ability to ‘require Face ID’ or ‘require Touch ID’ depending on their handset hardware.

The change, in version 2.19.20 of the WhatsApp iOS app, is listed as: 

• You can now require Face ID or Touch ID to unlock WhatsApp. Tap “Settings” > “Account” > “Privacy” and enable Screen Lock.

While WhatsApp makes use

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Everything you need to know about Facebook, Google’s app scandal


This post is by Zack Whittaker from TechCrunch


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Facebook and Google landed in hot water with Apple this week after two investigations by TechCrunch revealed the misuse of internal-only certificates — leading to their revocation, which led to a day of downtime at the two tech giants.

Confused about what happened? Here’s everything you need to know.

How did all this start, and what happened?

On Monday, we revealed that Facebook was misusing an Apple-issued certificate that is only meant for companies to use to distribute internal, employee-only apps without having to go through the Apple App Store. But the social media giant used that certificate to sign an app that Facebook distributed outside the company, violating Apple’s rules.

The app, known simply as “Research,” allowed Facebook access to all the data flowing out of the device it was installed on. Facebook paid users — including teenagers — $20 per month to install the app. But it wasn’t

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Huawei’s folding phone debuts this month


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


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Huawei mobile chief Richard Yu has already made mention of the company’s upcoming foldable phone amid talks of smartphone world domination. This morning, however, we caught our first glimpse of the handset in profile, along with the promise of more, arriving February 24, during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Foldables are very much heating up to be the highlight of the 2019 smartphone race. Royole’s already shipping a handset to devs, and Samsung is set to give us a lot more info at an Unpacked event a mere days before MWC kicks off.

<

p class=”p1″>Xiaomi’s offering is merely a concept, but it’s the coolest of the bunch; and then there’s the return of the Motorola Razr, which seems, if nothing else, a

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Apple has blocked Google from running internal iOS apps after certificate misuse


This post is by Zack Whittaker from TechCrunch


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Apple has blocked Google from distributing its internal-only iOS apps on its corporate network after a TechCrunch investigation found the search giant abusing the certificates.

“We’re working with Apple to fix a temporary disruption to some of our corporate iOS apps, which we expect will be resolved soon,” said a Google spokesperson. A spokesperson for Apple said: “We are working together with Google to help them reinstate their enterprise certificates very quickly.”

TechCrunch reported Wednesday that Google was using an Apple-issued certificate that allows the company to create and build internal apps for its staff for one of its consumer-facing apps, called Screenwise Meter, in violation of Apple’s rules. The app was designed to collect an extensive amount of data from a person’s iPhone for research, but using the special certificate allowed the company to allow users to bypass Apple’s App Store. Google later apologized, and said that the

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Poor smartphones sales drag LG to first quarterly loss in 2 years


This post is by Jon Russell from TechCrunch


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We’ve written extensively about LG’s struggling mobile business, which has suffered at the hands of aggressive Chinese Android makers, and now that unit has dragged its parent company into posting its first quarterly loss for two years.

The Korean electronics giant is generally in good health — it posted a $2.4 billion profit for 2018 — but its smartphone business’s failings saw it post a loss in Q4 2018, its first quarterly negative since Q4 2016.

Overall, the company posted a KRW 75.7 billion ($67.1 million) operating loss as revenue slid seven percent year-on-year to KRW 15.77 trillion ($13.99 billion). LG said the change was “primarily due to lower sales of mobile products.”

We’ve known for some time that LG’s mobile business is strugglingthe division got another new head last November — but things went from bad to worse in Q4. LG Mobile

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Nintendo’s Mario Kart mobile game won’t launch until the summer


This post is by Jon Russell from TechCrunch


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It’s been a long year for Nintendo fans waiting on Mario Kart to come to mobile and, unfortunately, more patience is required after the game’s launch was moved back to this summer.

Nintendo announced plans to bring the much-loved franchise to smartphones one year ago. It was originally slated to launch by the end of March 2019, but the Japanese games giant said today it is pushing that date back to summer 2019.

The key passage sits within Nintendo’s latest earnings report, released today, which explains that additional time is needed “to improve [the] quality of the application and expand the content offerings after launch.”

It’s frustrating but,

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Your smartphone may soon pack 1TB in storage thanks to Samsung’s new memory chip


This post is by Jon Russell from TechCrunch


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Sick of filling the limited space on your phone with apps, photos and videos? Sometime in the near future, your smartphone could ship with more than one-terabyte (1TB) of internal storage and run 10 times faster than a standard memory card.

Samsung is best known for making smartphones but the company’s memory division — one of its most profitable units — just announced that it has begun mass-producing a 1TB flash storage chip for phones. There’s no word on when they’ll be inside smartphones but Samsung said it plans to increase production during the first half of this year.

“Smartphone enthusiasts will soon be able to enjoy storage capacity comparable to a premium notebook PC, without having to pair their phones with additional memory cards,” Samsung said.

That 1TB capacity is double the previous highest that the Korean firm has produced. Its newest chip gave the Galaxy Note 9 a 512GB model

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Apple disables group calling in FaceTime in response to eavesdropping bug


This post is by Jon Russell from TechCrunch


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Apple has disabled the group calling feature within its FaceTime calling service while it works on a patch to fix a nasty bug that allows eavesdropping.

Apple’s status page shows that group calling via FaceTime is “temporarily unavailable” — that’s a stop-gap move while the company to deliver a more permanent fix to the problem this week. We were unable to set up a group call when we tried, having earlier been able to do and replicate the issue.

All being well, this fix means that users don’t need to completely disable FaceTime due to the bug, but it is understandable if some people are hesitant to switch it on again.

The vulnerability was unearthed on Monday and it is activated when a user initiates a group call but adds themselves as a participant, as we explained in our earlier post:

The bug relies on what appears to be a nasty logic screwup in

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