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By Jay Bonggolto
Samsung rolls out new update for Bixby with support for Indian English
by Jay Bonggolto
Samsung unveiled in March the Galaxy A52 and A72 in India, the successors to the Galaxy A51 and A71. Now, the phones have gained some improvements in terms of their native digital assistant capabilities for the Indian market.
Samsung announced today a new update for Bixby in India that focuses on improving the user experience and providing more contextual features to Indian consumers. The update introduces support for Indian English.
The Bixby 3.0 update enables the digital assistant to recognize Indian names, places, content, and recipes, among other Indian words. The latest version is meant to help you perform their daily tasks via the new Indian English avatar. For example, you can ask Bixby to look for Diwali pictures on your mobile device. You can also connect your Galaxy device to your TV by just saying, "Hi Bixby, show Bengaluru vacation photos on TV."
To get started, you can simply look for a banner at the top of your Bixby screen and then tap on it to turn on support for Indian English. On the other hand, if it's your first time setting up the digital assistant on your device, make sure to choose Indian English.
Initially, the update is available on the Galaxy A52 and A72 as well as the flagship Galaxy S21 series. It will go live for the Galaxy Fold, Galaxy S20 series, and the Galaxy Note20 series in the near future.
By Jay Bonggolto
Samsung ends security updates for the Galaxy S8 and S8+
by Jay Bonggolto
Samsung has pulled the plug on security updates for the Galaxy S8 and S8+. The devices were announced back in 2017, marking the beginning of smartphones with thin bezels. They had since enjoyed four years of Android security updates, although that has now come to an end.
On its security updates page (via 9to5Google), Samsung has removed the two flagship phones from the list of handsets that are receiving support. If you intend to keep your Galaxy S8, you'll have to cope with the current software version moving forward, knowing that it will no longer receive fixes or any form of updates.
While security updates for the legacy phones have ended, it's worth noting that the Galaxy S8 and S8+ continued to receive support for a longer period than Google's Pixel phones. Samsung managed to beat Google at its own game when it announced in February that it would roll out four years of security updates for Galaxy devices. In contrast, the Pixel devices receive only up to three years of security and feature updates.
Like most of Samsung's flagships, the Galaxy S8 lineup received two major OS updates and up to three years of monthly security updates before it was moved to the quarterly schedule early last year. Noticeably, the Galaxy S8 Active and S8 Lite are still receiving security updates under the quarterly and biannual schedules, respectively, since these were released a few months after the Galaxy S8 phones were launched.
Leaked images show off the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 with new designs
by João Carrasqueira
Samsung's next-generation foldable phones have been the topic of plenty of rumors over the past few months, but thanks to some new leaked images, we may have the best look yet at what to expect from the devices. Thanks to a handful of images shared by Twitter user Anthony (The Galox) - though some are credited to Szczepan Karpiel-Bułecka - we have a fairly good idea of what both the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 will look like when they launch, as well as some of the features they'll come with.
The Galaxy Z Fold3 is potentially the most interesting of the two, since it will now feature S Pen support, and the tip of the pen has seemingly been made more round to avoid damage to the inner display. On top of that, a screenshot of the phone's introduction video reveals that it will be the first foldable with an under-display selfie camera, which is still a new technology by itself. The first commercially available phone with such a camera was the ZTE Axon 20 5G, and it was evidently not a great camera, so hopefully Samsung has done a better job in implementing it here.
Gallery: Galaxy Z Fold3 leaked images
The images also show off the back of the phone, revealing a triple-camera setup, but now with a more pill-shaped design compared to the more square-ish look of the Galaxy Z Fold2. Specs for the cameras are still unknown, however. Both the Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 will also have the new Gorilla Glass Victus from Corning on the outside, and use flat aluminum edges to make it feel like there's less of a gap between half.
As for the Galaxy Z Flip3, the biggest difference is on the outside, with Samsung using a dual-tone look that's somewhat reminiscent of the Pixel 2. The phone will still have two cameras, now stacked vertically, and the display next to them will be larger, which was one of the bigger complaints with the original Z Flip. The images also show off a range of color options for both phones.
Gallery: Galaxy Z Flip3 leaked images
On the software side, the leaks point to the phones shipping with OneUI 3.5, which will seemingly bring improvements to Flex mode, which is what Samsung uses to refer to the phones being open at a 90-degree angle. The company is adding support for running two apps at once in this view, as well as more apps supporting the layout.
There's no indication as to when the phones will launch or at what price, but it's likely Samsung will wait for the second half of the year to announce them. Last year, the foldable models were announced alongside the Galaxy Note20 in August.
Curious about foldables? We recently got the Huawei Mate X2 in our hands and would love to hear your questions! Check our forums and let us know what you'd like us to clarify!
Samsung posts over $59 billion in revenue in Q1, expects to popularize foldables in Q2
by João Carrasqueira
If you've somehow missed it, some of the biggest tech companies are sharing their quarterly earnings results this week, and Samsung is no exception. The company has posted its results for the three months ending on March 31, 2021, which constitute the first quarter of its fiscal year, posting 65.39 trillion won ($59.02 billion) in revenue and 9.38 trillion won ($8.47 billion) in operating profit. Revenue set a new record for this time frame for Samsung, and as you might have noticed, that happens a lot with companies as they continue to grow.
The biggest slice of this pie was Samsung's IT & Mobile Communications Division, with 29.21 trillion won ($26.36 billion) in revenue and 4.39 trillion won ($3.96 billion) in operating profit. That means this division accounted for almost 45% of Samsung's revenue and 47% of its profits. That shouldn't be all too surprising, however, seeing as Samsung released the Galaxy S21 flagship family this year, with all three phones earning our praise in reviews. Solid sales of the Galaxy A series, as well as tablets, PCs, and wearables also helped drive these results.
Samsung's semiconductor business was its second biggest in this quarter, posting 19.01 trillion won ($17.16 billion) in revenue and 3.37 trillion won ($3.04 billion) in profit. Samsung says its memory business went down slightly because of increased production costs and lower NAND prices, but DRAM stayed strong and demand for server CPUs increased in this quarter.
The Consumer Electronics Division, which is responsible for Samsung's TVs and home appliances, is next with 12.99 trillion won ($11.72 billion) in revenue and 1.12 trillion won ($1.01 billion) in operating profit. Demand dropped off from the previous quarter due to it being the holiday season, but results were up year-on-year regardless.
Finally, the smallest of Samsung's divisions was the Display Panel Business, which accounted for just 6.92 trillion won ($6.25 billion) in revenue and 0.36 trillion won ($324.92 million) in operating profit. Demand for OLED displays increased year-on-year resulting in stronger earnings, while large displays saw a drop as many production lines are being converted in preparation for next-generation TVs.
One interesting tidbit from Samsung's earnings release is that it expects to maintain profitability for its mobile division in the second quarter by "popularizing foldable models". Samsung has been rumored to be working on multiple foldable phones for this year, including the potential for more affordable models, which could certainly help the form factor have broader appeal. The company also expects to grow sales of other devices in its IT & Mobile division, likely thanks to recent launches like the new Galaxy A series and Galaxy Book Pro laptops announced yesterday.
LG posts highest quarterly revenue and profit ever in the first quarter
by João Carrasqueira
Like many other companies, LG has posted its earnings results for the first three months of calendar year 2021 this week, which in LG's case is also the first quarter of its fiscal year. Even though this is the quarter after the holiday season, LG managed to increase both its revenue and profit from the previous quarter, to 18.81 trillion won ($16.90 billion) and 1.52 trillion won ($1.36 billion), respectively. Not only is that an increase from the last quarter, but those are the highest quarterly results LG has ever posted.
As to what contributed to those numbers, the LG Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company continues to be its biggest division, posting 6.71 trillion won ($6.03 billion) in revenue, up 23.8% from the same period last year. Operating profit was 919.90 billion won ($826.39 million), which is 22.1% higher compared to last year.
The LG Home Entertainment Company - responsible for LG TVs and soundbars - was its second-biggest division, with 4.01 trillion won ($3.60 billion) in revenue and 403.80 billion won ($362.75 million) in operating profit. Those numbers are up 34.9% and 23.9%, respectively, from the previous year.
The last division to post a profit was the LG Business Solutions Company, which saw a 9.1% increase in revenue year-on-year to 1.86 trillion won ($1.67 billion). Profits, however, went down to 134 billion won ($120.38 million) due to increasing costs of LCD panels and semiconductors.
The LG Vehicle Component Solutions Company saw a whopping 43.5% increase in revenue from the past year, reaching 1.89 trillion won ($1.7 billion). The division still didn't turn a profit, however, and lost 700 million won ($629,000), though it did lower its losses.
And finally, we have the soon-to-be-defunct LG Mobile Communications Company. With LG preparing to shut down its mobile division - a move announced shortly after the fiscal quarter ended - it didn't release any new products in this time. It posted 998.70 billion won ($897.18 million) in revenue in this quarter, and operating loss dropped 28% to 280.10 billion won ($251.63 million) thanks to its decreased investment. LG says it will include profits and losses for its discontinued operations in its second-quarter results.