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By Jay Bonggolto
Motorola announces the Moto G Stylus 5G for $399.99
by Jay Bonggolto
Earlier this year, Motorola introduced a new lineup of Moto G smartphones including the Moto G Stylus, Moto G Play, and Moto G Power. The handsets have 5,000mAh batteries, except for the Moto G Stylus, which only has a smaller 4,000mAh battery due to the room needed for the stylus.
Today, Motorola announced the Moto G Stylus 5G with generally similar hardware to the non-5G version, except that the latest edition packs a bigger 5,000mAh battery that promises up to two days of battery life and the new Snapdragon 480 5G processor.
Like the earlier version, the G Stylus 5G sports a 6.8-inch Max Vision FullHD+ display. Under the hood, it has either 4GB or 6GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of internal storage. For additional storage requirements, the phone includes a microSD card slot that can expand its storage to 1TB.
The device also has a quad camera setup on the back with a 48MP main sensor, 8MP ultrawide shooter, 5MP macro sensor, and a 2MP depth sensor. On its front, there’s a 16MP selfie camera. The phone also comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack and runs Android 11. Inside the box, there's a charging brick included.
With 5G onboard, the latest iteration of the Moto G Stylus is a bit more expensive than the 4G version. It will retail for $399.99 from June 14 through various online stores including Motorola.com, Best Buy, Walmart, B&H Photo, and Amazon.com in the U.S. Later this year, it will be up for grabs via AT&T, Cricket, T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile, Boost Mobile, Xfinity Mobile, and Spectrum Mobile.
Samsung's SmartThings gets a new interface in latest update
by Paul Hill
Samsung has announced that its SmartThings software for mobile and desktop has been updated complete with a new interface that’s easier to use and delivers faster load times. Despite the new interface, Samsung says that the update will ensure a seamless transition from the old interface.
Commenting on the new SmartThings app, Jaeyeon Jung, Corporate Vice President at Samsung Electronics, said:
The new app is split into five categories, Favourites, Devices, Life, Automations, and Menu. The Favourites hub is the new home screen of the app and gives quicker access to frequently used devices, scenes, and services. Devices lets you control each of your connected devices, Life allows you to keep up with all the latest connected living developments, Automations lets you have devices work in tandem, and the Menu is where all the additional SmartThings features live including SmartThings Labs, Notifications, History, and Settings.
The new interface is available on Android devices starting today and the update for iOS is due in the near future. The Windows version is available for the Galaxy Book and other Windows PCs.
Apple is bringing FaceTime to Windows 10 and Android users via the web
by Anmol Mehrotra
At its annual developer event, Apple announced major changes to its mobile platform including the introduction of iOS 15. Along with iOS 15, Apple has also announced that it will be opening FaceTime to Windows and Android users.
With the new update, FaceTime will act more in line with other video conferencing apps like Zoom and Skype, allowing users to share links to calls to others. These links will work on both Windows 10 and Android. Unfortunately, Apple has not commented on the availability of the FaceTime app so you will have to use a web browser if you intend to join a FaceTime call using an Android or Windows 10 device.
Apart from that, Apple has also announced other features for FaceTime. These include a new grid view, a voice isolation tool, spatial audio support and an option to blur background using “portrait mode.” Lastly, Apple is also introducing SharePlay which will allow users to join in and listen or watch a TV show, song or a movie. The feature will support Disney+, HBO Max and Twitch along with Apple TV and Apple Music.
All the features including the support for Android and Windows 10 will roll out to Apple users along with the iOS 15 update.
ZTE launches its flagship smartphone, the Axon 30 Ultra, globally for $750
by Chandrakant Isi
Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment (ZTE) has rolled out its top-tier Axon 30 Ultra in several regions across the globe. Thanks to its thin-bezel design and impressive specifications, ZTE's handset can give many flagship phones a run for their money. Speaking of money, the Axon 30 Ultra's pricing isn't too bad either. However, before you pull the trigger, let us walk you through its features and specifications.
The Axon 30 Ultra sports a 6.6-inch OLED screen with 1080x2400 pixels. It is tuned for a 144Hz refresh rate and is protected by Corning's Gorilla Glass. The Axon 30 Ultra is powered by Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 888 chipset. It comes in 8GB RAM and 12GB RAM variants. The base model has 128GB internal storage while the latter packs in 256GB storage.
The phone is equipped with three 64MP cameras and an 8MP telephoto lens. Selfies are taken care of by a 16 MP front-facing shooter. The Axon 30 Ultra can record 8K videos at 30fps and 4K at 60fps. On the connectivity front, the Axon 30 Ultra offers 5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS, and NFC. It does however lack a 3.5mm headphone jack. The handset packs in a 4,600mAh battery with support for 65W fast charging.
The Axon 30 Ultra runs Android 11 with ZTE's MyOS 11 on top. The device comes in Black, White, Blue, and Light Brown. If you still haven't made up your mind, check out our thorough review.
Starting today, the phone is available for purchase in the US and the UK with prices starting from $750 and £649 respectively. It can also be bought from several countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. To check its availibility in your region, head over to this link.
Google makes it harder for Android apps to track users
by Subir Kathuria
Google has announced new changes to bolster privacy protections for Android users. In an email sent to app developers of the Play Store, the company has detailed how access to a user's Advertising ID would be restricted once a user opts out of receiving personalized ads. Advertising ID is a device identifier that allows marketers to track users as they switch between different apps.
On sending a request, the Android system would respond back with a string of zero's instead of an actual Advertising ID that can be used to track the user. The change means Android users can now opt out of interest-based advertising. The company has also updated its support page for Advertising ID detailing the change.
It has been possible to opt out of personalized ads on Android, but developers were able to circumvent the restriction using alternate identifiers. When opted out, the Advertising ID was still used to support analytics, attribution, and fraud detection. Google says it will release an alternative system in July that would not pass the ID for users who opt-out of personalization. The new system would first be rolled out to Android 12 and then gradually to older versions of Android via Play Store updates.
With this change, Google is trying to implement a system similar to the one launched by Apple last month where the ID for Advertising (IDFA) is zeroed and made useless once a user opts out of personalization. Although Apple's system is more proactive and "opt-in", Google's system is more background and "opt-out."
According to the Google's VP and GM of ads Jerry Dischler:
In March, Google’s director of product management for ads privacy and trust, David Temkin posted in a company blog post that Google would not build alternate identifiers once third-party cookies are deprecated in Chrome, nor allow them in Google products.
Source: The Financial Times via The Verge