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By Abhay V
One UI 3.1 for the Galaxy Z Fold2 brings multitasking and ease-of-use improvements
by Abhay Venkatesh
Samsung recently detailed the new features brought by the latest One UI 3.1 update to its flagship tablets, the Galaxy Tab S7 series, and the Galaxy S20 lineup. While the update for the tablets brought with it improved cross-device usability with the company’s flagship phones, the release for the Galaxy S20 line introduced a bunch of camera features from the S21 series. Today, the company highlighted the improvements that the latest update brings to the Galaxy Z Fold2.
For its foldable screen-sporting device, which is now receiving the latest Android 11-based OS update, the South Korean giant is focusing on multitasking and ease-of-use enhancements. The first of the improvements come to the task switcher, or as Samsung calls it, the “Recents” tab.
Users can now directly switch to previously opened ‘Multi-Active Windows’ at once from the task switcher, meaning that if three apps were opened in a multi-window setup on the main screen and the user navigates to another app, the task switcher will let them return to the multi-window setup as is. The feature also lets users move two out of the three apps from the main screen to the cover display.
Additionally, One UI 3.1 on the Z Fold2 adds the ability to drag an app from the notification shade and drop it into Multi-Active Windows. For example, users can drag a messaging app into a split view right from the notification shade, draft a response or add multimedia content and send it, and then dismiss the app. This negates the need to break away from the current app and helps make better use of the screen real estate.
As for the ease-of-use improvements, the firm is adding a new ‘Palm touch to turn off screen’ feature that lets users use a gesture or double-tap to turn off the device’s screen. This makes it easier to lock the device in instances where your hands are full and you can't reach the power button – especially considering how you would not want to try juggling with an expensive foldable.
The other usability enhancement comes in the way of the choice to move the camera controls in the Camera app when using Flex mode – a mode that adapts the UI of the device when it is partially folded –, giving users more control over where they want the shutter button or other options situated on the massive main display. The firm has also added Delete and Share buttons in image previews in Flex mode.
While the changes aren’t massive by any means, these simple additions further improve the user experience on the Z Fold2. In addition to these, One UI 3.1 brings a host of other features such as Eye Comfort Shield, app continuity improvements, and much more. You can head to our detailed rundown of what’s new with the update here. One UI 3.1 has begun rolling out to the Galaxy Z Fold2 this week, so all users should begin seeing the update soon.
By Rich Woods
Samsung reportedly releasing an Exynos-powered Windows 10 PC this year
by Rich Woods
Samsung Galaxy Book2 Samsung is no stranger to making Windows on ARM PCs, releasing devices for the most recent two generations of Qualcomm's Snapdragon Compute Platforms. But while Windows on ARM is referred to by some as Windows on Snapdragon, that phrase might not be accurate soon, as Samsung might just be working on a laptop that uses its own processor.
The report comes out of ZDNet Korea (via SamMobile), and it claims that Samsung is going to release an Exynos-powered laptop this year. It's going to come with an Exynos 2200 chipset, and even more interestingly, an AMD GPU.
Samsung and AMD have both confirmed that they were working together on a new chipset. The going assumption and rumor was that that chipset was going to be for an upcoming version of the Galaxy Z Fold. As it turns out, the two firms have completely different ambitions in mind.
As it stands right now, the only officially supported ARM processors for Windows 10 are made by Qualcomm. The only other chip vendor that's making ARM processors for PCs, obviously, is Apple, which is transitioning its Mac lineup to its custom SoCs. Indeed, compared to just a few years ago, there's a ton of competition for Intel, which is the market incumbent. AMD's Ryzen processors are better than ever, and this is the first time in years that a new architecture is supported by Windows. It would seem that Samsung is set to become another competitor for Intel.
The new Exynos-powered PC is set to arrive this year, and according to the report, it should show up in the third quarter. It's unclear, however, if Samsung is going to push the same value proposition as other ARM chip-makers. Apple is boasting performance and battery life, while Qualcomm champions its integrated cellular connectivity and fanless designs. With an AMD GPU, it's possible that Samsung could go for power.
Samsung's Mobility Enhancer technology improves MIMO throughput by 30%
by João Carrasqueira
Cellular tower image via Shutterstock Samsung is improving the quality of its mobile networks thanks to a new solution it calls Mobility Enhancer, the company announced today. As the name implies, the focus of the technology is to improve the experience for users while they're on the move, which usually causes data speeds to get worse due to instability.
Mobility Enhancer is a software solution that Samsung is applying to its Massive MIMO radios, and it improves the beamforming technology in those radios to make them more accurate for moving users. Samsung tested the technology in a field trial and found that data throughput was up by as much as 30% for a walking user. JeongHo Park, VP and Head of the Advanced System Design lab at Samsung's network division, said:
Since it's a software solution, it's easier to upgrade than if it required new hardware, and Samsung says it will deliver software updates to its Massive MIMO radios around the world this year, so those performance improvements shouldn't be too far off. While the focus is naturally on 5G, the technology should benefit 4G users, too.
By Steven P.
Deal of the Day: Unlocked Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G at $375 off
by Steven Parker
In today's Amazon Deal of the Day, you can save $375 off on the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G and $200 off on the non Ultra 5G variant. The Note20 series launched last summer and we reviewed the European Note20 Ultra 5G variant which you can read here. The factory unlocked phone normally costs $1299.99, but today you can grab the 128GB variant at 29% off.
Here's what we had to say about this phone in our review
The main problem we had with it was the price. Here's the full spec sheet:
Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+
Octa-core (1x3.0 GHz Kryo 585 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 585) GPU Adreno 650 Display 6.9 inches, 1440x3088, 525ppi, 120Hz FHD or 60Hz QHD, Dynamic AMOLED 2X Body 161.9x73.7x7.8mm (6.37x2.90x0.31in), 186g (6.56oz) Camera 108MP main + 12MP ultra-wide + 12MP telephoto, Front - 10MP Video 8K - 24fps, 4K - 60fps, HDR10+, Front - 4K - 60fps Aperture f/1.8 + f/2.0 + f/3.0, Front - F/2.2 Storage 256GB UFS 3.0 RAM 12GB Battery 4,500mAh, 25W fast charging 5G Sub6 + mmWave Color Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black, Mystic White OS Android 10 with OneUI 2.5 Price $924.99 In addition to this Mystic Black variant, a couple of other colors are available for the Note20 Ultra:
Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G, 128GB Mystic Bronze at $375 off for $924.99 (list price $1299.99) Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G, 128GB Mystic White at $375 off for $924.99 (list price $1299.99) Here are the specs for the Note20 5G:
Galaxy Note20 5G
6.7-inches flat FHD+ Super AMOLED Plus, Infinity-O Display (2400x1080), 393ppi, HDR10+ certified, 60Hz display
75.2 x 161.6 x 8.3mm, 194g
12MP, F1.8, 79 degrees,
Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, 1.8μm pixel, OIS
12MP, F2.2, 120 degrees, 1.4μm pixel
64MP, F2.0, 76 degrees, 0.8μm pixel, OIS, Telephoto: 3X hybrid optical zoom
Up to 8K at 24fps
10MP, F2.2, 80 degrees, 1.22μm pixel, dual pixel AF
7nm Snapdragon 865+ (U.S., 5G)
4,300mAh, 25W fast charging
Android 10 with One UI 2.5
LTE/5G (sub6 + mmWave)
Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, Type-C, NFC
Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor
Samsung Pay (NFC payments)
Stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos
IP68 water and dust resistance
Galaxy Note20 5G, 128GB Mystic Bronze at $200 off for $799.99 (list price $999.99) Galaxy Note20 5G, 128GB Mystic Gray at $200 off for $799.99 (list price $999.99) Galaxy Note20 5G, 128GB Mystic Green at $200 off for $799.99 (list price $999.99) At the time of writing, neither Note20 variants have the larger 512GB model available to purchase. This deal is part of a wider sales promotion by Samsung on Amazon that you can check out here, some deals, like this one, are for today Feb 24 only, and others are flash deals or for the whole week.
This deal qualifies for free delivery and free returns even without Prime. You can also add a 3-Year Accident Protection plan for an additional $99.99.
Get the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G for $924.99 (list price $1299.99) at Amazon
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LG is now licensing its webOS smart TV platform to other brands
by João Carrasqueira
LG wants other TV manufacturers to begin using its webOS platform for their smart TVs. The South Korean company today announced that it has begun licensing the software experience to other TV manufacturers in an attempt to expand its presence in the market.
With a webOS license, TV manufacturers will get access to the same user experience and interface as LG's TVs, in addition to features like voice search, voice control, and AI algorithms, as well as all the apps and content that are available on webOS. Some TVs can also have a Magic Motion remote controller.
Park Hyong-sei, president of the LG Home Entertainment Company, commented on the announcement:
As pointed out by LG, the smart TV market is known for companies using proprietary software to power the experience on their own TVs, so the licensing of webOS could help more brands offer a recognizable user interface across the board. Of course, platforms like Android TV already exist, so LG isn't the first to try to bring uniformity to the ecosystem. The real goal is to have as many people as possible using its platform.
LG says it already has over 20 TV manufacturers committed to the webOS partnership, including brands such as RCA, Konka, and Ayonz, so we're likely to start seeing more TVs ship with webOS installed in the future.