dimanche 19 novembre 2017

Google Lens in Google Assistant is Starting to Roll-out for Some Users

Google Lens was first introduced in Google I/0 2017. Projected as the spiritual successor to Google Goggles, Lens was claimed to be a next generation computer vision product using Google’s machine learning to identify items and objects with the use of smartphone camera. At the Pixel 2 event held on October 4, Google stated that Lens would be available in a Preview state on the newly launched Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. It was said to be integrated with Google Photos as well as Google Assistant – but at launch, only integration with Photos was available. The company promised that integration with Assistant would be available in a few weeks.

Lens was shipped to first-generation Google Pixel users in Google Photos without requiring an app update. We also showed you a way to enable Lens in Photos for all devices using root. The only thing left now was the ability to use Lens in Google Assistant.

Now, Reddit user DHatch207 states that Google Lens has showed up inside Google Assistant on his original Google Pixel. His Pixel was running Android 8.1 beta. He stated that there was no need to take a photo to use Lens, as it emerged on the Assistant screen with its own viewfinder.

Google Lens in Google Assistant Google Lens in Google Assistant

DHatch207 added that his Google app version was 7.15.22.21.arm64, which was the stable version available on the Play Store. This means that the new capability to use Lens in Assistant did not require an update for him, as it was a server-side change.

Other users are also reporting that they have received Google Lens in Google Assistant, although the product is still in a “Preview” state. Moreover, the Google Goggles successor is still only available on the first and second-generation Google Pixels. Google hasn’t stated when Lens will see a wider roll-out to other devices, but it is expected to happen at some point in the future.

Source: /u/DHatch207



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Qualcomm Set to Win Japanese Antitrust Clearance and Close Out NXP Deal

Qualcomm has been in the news a lot recently for a wide variety of reasons. From potentially being bought out by Broadcom for $103 billion before turning it down, to being the target of many antitrust lawsuits, the San Diego based company has been in an interesting position for the last couple of months. After losing antitrust lawsuits in Taiwan, South Korea and China, it seemed that Qualcomm was going to lose yet again when it faced a potential block in Japan over acquiring NXP Semiconductors for $38 Billion.

However, according to a report from Reuters, it seems that Qualcomm may be cleared in Japan to close out the deal, and similarly in the EU once certain conditions are met. The conditions are consumer friendly, and first prevent Qualcomm from purchasing many of NXP’s standard, essential patents and also not to take legal action involving NFC against others using the technology unless it is for defensive purposes. They also have to allow NXP products to work alongside competitor products.

These conditions have also been extended to the Japanese Fair Trade Commission and are likely why a statement will very soon be cleared to close out the deal, with the European Commission expected to follow suit shortly after. This will mean that Qualcomm will have been cleared to make the acquisition in all of their major markets including the US, paving the way to finally finish the deal and acquire NXP Semiconductors.

The concern comes from the fact that Qualcomm may be able to abuse its market position by increasing prices and engaging in other anti-consumer behaviour by decreasing the amount of semiconductor companies in the market. While this is true, it may also allow the company to benefit from the acquisition and decrease costs instead. If Qualcomm had been acquired by Broadcom, the super company would control a large portion of all mobile hardware and have the potential to increase prices at will.

Source: Reuters



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OxygenOS 5.0 Android Oreo Released for OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T

OnePlus recently released the latest Open Beta version of Android Oreo for the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T, with some UI bugs amongst other things. That build was mostly to fix performance and battery-related bugs. Now, OnePlus has gone ahead and released OxygenOS 5.0 for the OnePlus 3/3T in the form of a staged rollout.

It is possible that this stable build may still have some bugs that sneaked through the Open Betas, but either way, this marks a much quicker release than OxygenOS 4.0 of last year. OnePlus isn’t usually known for its update speed for stable builds, but the company has started to turn that around with the upgrade to Nougat (besting many manufacturers) and now their release of Oreo. The OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T are also said to receive the upgrade to Android Oreo in early 2018, with the Open Beta series starting this month.

Android Oreo also marks the end of life for major upgrades for both the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T, as two incremental Android version upgrades were promised and then subsequently fulfilled. It is unsure at this time whether OnePlus will upgrade both devices to Android 8.1 Oreo. If the open betas are anything to go off of, it also seems that Project Treble support is also not on board, so the fate of the device’s future in terms of upgrades and support will largely be placed in the community’s hands from now on.

The changelog for the OxygenOS 5.0 update is as below:

System

  • Update to Android O (8.0)
  • Added Parallel Apps
  • Added Picture in Picture
  • Added Auto-fill
  • Added Smart text selection
  • New Quick Settings design
  • Updated security patch to September

Launcher

  • Added notification dots
  • New app folder design
  • Now able to upload photos directly to Shot on OnePlus

Despite the seemingly small length of the changelog, it is a pretty big changelog, as the majority of changes are of course under the “Update to Android O” change. What is surprising in the changelog is the security patch level. Considering we are already at November 2017, including the security patch from September seems like a poor choice.

The OTA is beginning to roll out now, with Canadian users of the OnePlus 3T reporting first that they have received it. Captured OTA links should start appearing soon, so if you’re interested, give it a try and let us know in the comments what you think of OxygenOS 5.0!


Source: OnePlus Forums



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samedi 18 novembre 2017

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Report: Android Smartphone Vendors to Adopt 3D Sensing for New Phones

Google introduced Face Unlock in Android back in 2011 with the release of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. However, the feature did not become popular as it was slow, unreliable, and could easily be spoofed. Then, Samsung, Vivo and OnePlus brought back facial image recognition to the fore in 2017 with their new smartphones.

It was Apple who delivered the solution in the facial recognition field with 3D sensing using facial scanning, which relied on hardware collectively termed as the ‘TrueDepth camera’, which included an IR camera, a dot projector, and more. Apple termed this solution ‘Face ID’, and used it as the only biometric authentication method on the iPhone X, removing the ‘Touch ID’ fingerprint sensor in the process. In the Android world, Sony demoed 3D sensing in smartphones at MWC Shanghai 2017.

Now, a report by Digitimes states that Android smartphone vendors including Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi are expected to equip their new phones launching in 2018 with 3D sensing functionality. The report also stated that suppliers such as Largan Precision, Sunny Optical, Orbbec and Himax Technologies would be the major beneficiaries.

Digitimes states that Largan Precision is currently in the most advantageous position in terms of technology, patent, capacity and design, as it has solutions for 3D sensing receivers and transmitter lens modules. The supplier is expected to obtain steady orders from existing clients. The report added that Largan is currently a camera lens supplier for iPhone devices as well as multiple Android smartphones.

On the other hand, Digitimes also states that Qualcomm, Himax and Truly Opto-electronics have also been jointly developing 3D sensing solutions. These solutions have been verified by Oppo and Xiaomi, according to the report.

The report noted that as another supply source, Sunny Optical’s structure-light 3D sensing solution is said to begin mass production in Q3 2018. Finally, it added that Orbbec is focusing on developing “3D sensors, algorithms, controller chips and structure-light 3D cameras”. The China-based supplier is said to be optimistic about landing orders from China’s smartphone brands in 2018.

All in all, it looks like Android OEMs are set to follow Apple’s lead and introduce 3D facial scanning biometrics in their 2018 smartphones. Although it remains to be seen how well the 3D sensors will work in terms of speed and accuracy, the race to install them in smartphones was inevitable at this point. In a related note, we hope that OEMs will keep the fingerprint sensor while experimenting with 3D sensors. Android is all about choice, so passing on some to the users will be welcome in this case.

Source: Digitimes



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Google Changing AMP Policy, Sites to Now Remain Similar to their Full Counterparts

The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP) is an open source initiative to allow website publishers to publish a quicker loading version of their website for mobile devices. Typically, it is a very stripped down version of the website, with minimal stylistic changes and only the bare minimum on the page required. It does not affect how websites index on Google’s search engine and is only a “strong” suggestion by Google that websites implement it.

Because of abuse of the system by some websites, Google are now changing their policy on how it’s enforced. Previously, there weren’t many rules on how the content should be displayed on the AMP website counterparts. Now, however, Google has had to start implementing new rules because of some websites.

As said previously, AMP sites are meant to be faster loading versions of their full site counterparts. However, some websites modified this to force users to visit the full page to continue reading the article they were on. This was possibly done for ad revenue or site engagement reasons.

Google have now enforced that AMP sites have to have nearly the same content as their fully fledged counterparts, and this will take effect from 1st February 2018. This is to prevent the so called “teaser pages” and will likely be effective in doing so. If websites are still caught abusing this, the affected links will be removed from the search results of Google’s search index, which is a rather strong reaction that will seriously force websites to reconsider their own decision.

This is one of the first changes Google has made to AMP or its policies since it came out. Google does point out, however, that of the over 25 million domains registered using AMP at this point, only a very small number of cases are abusing the system in the above manner. It seems likely that this is just a precautionary measure to prevent teaser pages from becoming the norm, rather than reactionary where this has already become an epidemic.


Source: Google Webmaster Central Blog



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Intel Announces its First Commercial 5G Modem – the XMM 8060