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Hands-on with the ZTE Axon 20 5G and its disappearing camera
by João Carrasqueira
In December, ZTE launched the world's first commercially available smartphone with an under-display camera in markets around the world. The ZTE Axon 20 5G, as it's called, is a mid-range phone, but has the peculiarity of having a 32MP selfie camera hidden behind a small portion of the screen, and now we have our own review unit to take a look at. ZTE talks a lot about how it achieved this, using a combination of high-transparency materials, a special pixel matrix, AI algorithms, and more.
The display itself is a 6.92-inch panel with fairly minimal bezels all around, since there's no camera, earpiece, or ambient light sensor on the bezel - it's all under the display. That panel has a resolution of 2460x1080 and a 90Hz refresh rate.
In terms of internal specs, the Axon 20 5G comes with a Snapdragon 765G chipset that allows the phone to have 5G support, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of internal storage. It also has a 4,220mAh battery to power the device, and that charges at 30W, which should get you up to 60% in 30 minutes or back to a full battery in 55 minutes.
The ZTE Axon 20 5G is available in markets around the world for $449/€449/£419. While ZTE lists the price in U.S. dollars on its global website, it apparently can't deliver the phone to North America. You can check out our hands-on video below.
Google to limit Chrome sync API following audit
by Paul Hill
Google has announced that it will be limiting access to private Chrome APIs that enable features such as Chrome sync and Click to Call so that only its browsers can use them. The decision follows an audit by the company which uncovered that third-party Chromium-based browsers were using the APIs.
The web giant said that users of some third-party browsers were able to sign in to their Google Account and store and retrieve their Chrome sync data in their third-party browser. The data they could access includes bookmarks and presumably passwords. Google isn’t happy this is happening and has said that the APIs that enable these features will be restricted from March 15, 2021.
For users that have already accessed these features, their data will still be available in their Google Account and will continue to be stored locally in their third-party browser. To continue using the restricted features, users will have no other option than to switch to Google Chrome or Chromium.
Google Chrome’s Engineering Director Jochen Eisinger who authored the post did not share which browsers were using these APIs but Chromium has become an extraordinarily popular choice to build browsers on top of. Microsoft’s Edge, Opera, Vivaldi and Brave are some popular web browsers that are built atop of Chromium but they each have their independent syncing services.
By Jay Bonggolto
Apple extends free TV+ trials anew to July 2021
by Jay Bonggolto
When Apple first launched its subscription video on demand streaming service in November 2019, customers were given a year of free TV+ trials if they purchased an iPhone, an iPad, a Mac, or an Apple TV from that day. The free access was supposed to expire on November 1, 2020, but Apple extended it to February 2021.
Today, the tech giant is giving some of its TV+ customers a few extra months of free trials again. Users with subscriptions that were scheduled to expire between February and June can continue to access TV+ shows and movies for free until July 2021, assuming they haven't canceled their subscriptions.
Those eligible for the extension will receive notification via email over the next couple of weeks. Existing TV+ subscribers with a monthly plan as of January 15 are also set to receive a $4.99 store credit from February to June. This is also available to those who have an Apple One bundle subscription.
It remains to be seen, though, whether the second extension will persuade more people to subscribe to the service.
By Steven P.
Connect to your PC remotely with Chrome Remote Desktop from any device
by Steven Parker
Although Microsoft already has native support for Remote Desktop baked into Windows, their app forces the desktop on the client to resize all of the windows to "fit" on the device connecting to it, meaning when you come back to login on the desktop that you connected to remotely, all of the open apps will now be tiny windows on the screen, which is not great.
Fortunately, Google has a free Remote Desktop app that lets you connect to a PC from any supported Android or iOS device and even through the web browser. It does require you to have the Chrome browser installed because it is a web app extension.
Install the Chrome Remote Desktop Extension on the computer you want to connect to remotely Then go to https://remotedesktop.google.com/access/ to add the computer You will be prompted to give the computer a name and (at least) a six digit PIN Gallery: Setup Chrome Remote Desktop
Once you have completed the above steps you will need to install the client on the device you will use to connect to your desktop.
Install the Chrome Remote Desktop app on the device you will use to connect to the remote PC.
Install for Android devices | Install for iOS devices Once the app is installed, tap on the hamburger menu and ensure you are signed in to the same account that the remote desktop is signed into Chrome with, tap the account to switch to it A list of your remote PCs will appear Tap on the remote desktop you want to access and enter the PIN
When you connect, you will see the remote PC desktop in the orientation for your device, so portrait for a phone and tablet, you can switch to landscape view and pinch to zoom in or out to make it easier to control the remote PC. In addition, there is a top navigation bar that auto hides and lets you bring up a virtual keyboard, capture the mouse cursor as well as context menu options to send Ctrl-Alt-Del, resize the desktop to fit.
Gallery: Mobile device access
An added bonus is that this method to connect does not resize any opened windows on the PC, and it also does not lock your PC when a user is connected to it remotely, so anyone can watch along which also makes it perfect for remote assistance.
You can also opt to give someone a one-time access code to grant them access to provide Remote Assistance. However, this method only appears to be possible directly through the web browser at https://remotedesktop.google.com/support that lets you generate a code, or connect to a PC with a code.
Let us know what remote solution you use for your computers in the comments below!
By Abhay V
Apple reportedly testing Music and Podcasts apps for the Microsoft Store
by Abhay Venkatesh
Apple retired iTunes for macOS back in 2019 with the release of macOS Catalina, splitting its functionality into three apps: Music, TV, and Podcasts. However, the company continued offering iTunes on Windows and had nothing to share about replacing the aging music client. A job posting spotted late in 2019 hinted towards possible efforts in that regard, with the firm calling on UWP developers to build the “next generation of media apps for Windows”. The company then made available Apple TV for Xbox late last year.
Now, a new report suggests that the Cupertino giant is working to bring its Music and Podcasts apps to the Microsoft Store. The apps are reportedly being tested as part of a private beta program and a release is expected sometime later this year. It is not clear if the apps are aimed at Xbox users alone, just like the Apple TV app, or if Apple plans to make the offerings available for the PC as well via the Microsoft Store.
Apple has been gradually expanding the availability of its services on multiple platforms. Apple TV, for instance, is making its way to Chromecast with Google TV and multiple smart TVs from LG and Sony. It will not be surprising to see the Music app make it to the Xbox, following the TV app. Though the service has a great web app. there is merit in releasing the apps for Windows 10 – and by extension for Windows 10X that is expected to launch on low-end PCs and tablets first – since it will greatly expand the reach of the company’s services via native apps.
It will be interesting to see what the iPhone company has in store for Microsoft’s platform. The introduction of native TV, Music, and Podcasts apps to Windows will be a welcome addition for users of the services.