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By Usama Jawad96
Bill Gates reveals why he prefers Android over iOS
by Usama Jawad
While Bill Gates is not as involved in tech as he used to be, and instead mostly focuses on social and public work, he still manages to make headlines for his views. Gates recently stated that there needs to be an Elon Musk in every sector, and how everyone would be using Windows Mobile instead of Android if not for the US antitrust investigation. Now, he has revealed why he prefers Android over iOS.
We already know that Bill Gates made the jump to Android back in 2017, presumably from Windows phones. At that time, Gates just stated that he uses an Android device with "lots of Microsoft software", and does not use an iOS handset. Now, the business magnate has revealed why he prefers Android over iOS.
In an interview with journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin on Clubhouse, Gates went on to say that:
While Gates may prefer Android because of the flexibility it offers and the ecosystem, Clubhouse is still currently an invite-only app currently available just on iPhones.
Although Bill Gates has been using Android phones for the past several years, he has previously expressed disappointment at how Microsoft missed the mobile race, calling it his "greatest mistake".
Google enables low-power sleep tracking on Android
by Paul Hill
Google has taken to its Android Developers Blog to announce that it’s making its Sleep API publicly available for third-party app developers to use. The company said that the Sleep API has been designed in a way that it can detect sleep in a more battery-efficient manner which should make apps that use the API more enticing to use.
To mark the occasion, Google teamed up with Urbandroid, the developer behind the popular Sleep As Android app. Commenting on the availability of the Sleep API, the Urbandroid team said:
The Sleep API, once permitted by users, can use on-device artificial intelligence that uses the device’s light and motion sensors. Apps using the API will be able to use information such as device motion and ambient light level to tell whether a user has gone to sleep. The API also uses daily sleep segments which are reported whenever a wake-up is detected.
The Sleep API is now available for use as part of the latest version of Google Play Services. If you’re a developer you should head over to the API’s documentation to learn more about implementing it into your project.
By Jay Bonggolto
Redmi K40 series is official with Snapdragon 888 and 870, 120Hz refresh rate and more
by Jay Bonggolto
Xiaomi's Redmi family of devices typically comprises entry-level and mid-range smartphones, with the exception of the Redmi K lineup. In addition to its Mi flagship phones, the company also uses Qualcomm's top-of-the-line mobile platforms to power some K Pro models, a trend that started with the Redmi K20 Pro and Pro Premium followed by the Redmi K30 Pro and Pro Zoom.
Today, Xiaomi announced the latest iteration to that lineup. The Redmi K40 is, of course, the standard version, powered by Qualcomm's 7nm-based Snapdragon 870 SoC paired with an Adreno 650 GPU. On the other hand, the K40 Pro and Pro+ are powered by the 5nm-based flagship Snapdragon 888 chipsets.
The K40 series sports a 6.67-inch Samsung E4 AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, 360Hz touch sampling rate for quick game controls, and HDR10+ support. The display also has a hole-punch cutout housing the 20MP front camera.
On their backs, the new handsets come with a triple-lens camera with a design that looks inspired by that of the Mi 11. The K40 has a 48MP main sensor, 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera, and 5MP telemacro sensor. Its more expensive siblings also come with the same camera specs, except for their main sensors: 64MP for the K40 Pro and 108MP for the K40 Pro+. Another familiar feature of the rear cameras is the audio zoom that we first saw in Samsung's Galaxy Note10, allowing you to capture audio of distant scenes. However, the difference is that Xiaomi's version uses a triple-microphone setup instead of dual mics in the case of Samsung's device.
The phones pack a 4,520mAh battery with 33W wired fast charging. Connectivity-wise, the K40 features Wi-Fi 6, while the K40 Pro and K40 Pro+ have improved capabilities with Wi-Fi 6E support, NFC, and an IR blaster. Other features of the phones include 360-degree light-sensing technology for a more accurate automatic brightness adjustment as well as a dedicated native ambient light sensor for color temperature balancing based on surrounding lighting levels.
The standard Redmi K40 will be initially available in China at ¥1,999 (~$310) for the 6GB/128GB configuration, ¥2,199 (~$341) for the 8GB/128GB variant, as well as ¥2,699 (~$418) for both the 8GB/256GB and 12GB/256GB versions. The K40 Pro costs ¥2,799 (~$433) for the 6GB/128GB variant, ¥2,999 (~$464) for the 8GB/128GB configuration, and ¥3,299 (~$511) for the 8GB/256GB model. Meanwhile, the K40 Pro+ will come with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for ¥3,699 (~$573). All models will ship in Glossy Black, Icy White, and Dreamland color options.
You can pre-order the K40 and K40 Pro from today via Xiaomi's website, with availability scheduled on March 4. The K40 Pro+ will be up for grabs by the end of March.
By Rich Woods
Google's Android Jetpack Compose is now in beta
by Rich Woods
Today, Google announced that its Jetpack Compose framework is now available in beta. Up until now, developers have been able to test it out in alpha via the canary version of Android Studio.
Jetpack Compose is a new toolkit for building out your UI. In fact, there's already plenty of documentation for it. It's something that developers have been testing out for a while, so one of the key things changing in beta is that APIs aren't going to change between now and when it goes into production. It's going to go into production later on this year around the time that Android 12 comes out, so you can get started on it now.
There are a bunch of new features that have been added since the first alpha release, such as coroutines support, accessibility support for Talkback, and a new Animations API. And on the Android Studio end of things, you'll find new tools like Live Literals, Animation Preview, compose support in the Layout Inspector, interactive preview, and Deploy Preview.
Google also said that Jetpack Compose already works with your existing app, so you can start playing around with it whenever you're ready. To get started, you'll need the latest canary build of Android Studio Arctic Fox, which you can download here.
By Abhay V
Google announces a bunch of new Android features
by Abhay Venkatesh
Google today announced a few new features coming to Android, both via updates to select apps and the OS itself. The features related to security, accessibility, and more, and the rollout is similar to how the company introduced added capabilities to older Android versions late last year.
The first on the list today is the addition of the Password Checkup tool natively to Android, something that first debuted as an extension and then made it to the Chrome browser itself. As the name suggests, the feature helps users keep a tab on the integrity of their saved passwords by notifying them if their credentials have been exposed. This allows users to act on compromised credentials and avoid using passwords that might have been exposed on the web.
Now, the feature integrates with Autofill on Android 9 and newer, notifying users of any potential password exposures and a guide to reset them. Additionally, Autofill can also generate unique passwords and secure that information via biometric authentication, making it a great overall tool for password management.
Next up is a nifty new update to the Messages app that brings the ability to schedule messages to be sent later. Long pressing the send button will now provide an option to set the date and time to deliver the text message. The option to schedule messages has been present for users on Samsung devices via the default Messages app that ships with those devices. Alternatively, users have had to rely on third-party offerings such as Pulse SMS for the feature. The updated Messages app is now rolling out to users on Android 7 and newer.
As for accessibility improvements, the search giant announced a new update to TalkBack, its screen reader for those with impaired vision. The updates include new multi-finger gestures on Pixel and Samsung phones that can be used to perform preset commands like selecting and editing text. There are also new swipe commands for reading through just the headlines or through entire paragraphs. The firm is also adding 25 voice commands to help with actions such as finding particular text on the screen and more. Lastly, there are two new languages for the Braille keyboard.
Google assistant is also receiving some updates that let users interact with it better on the lock screen. The company is adding a new card layout to review Assistant commands right from the lock screen, including alarm and timer options, sending messaging using voice, and more. The firm adds that users can “get things done on [their] phone without needing to be right next to it”.
Another highly awaited feature announced today is the rollout of a dark theme for Maps. While Maps automatically switches to a darker theme when navigating, a proper dark mode has been teased for a while. Users will finally be able to switch to the darker side permanently from the settings, a welcome addition for those that prefer the theming option to conserve battery on AMOLED displays, or just as a matter of preference.
Lastly, the Mountain View company announced new Android Auto features such as “car-inspired backgrounds” and Assistant actions – features that began rolling out earlier this month. For long journeys, the in-car system is also adding voice-activated trivia games. Other new features include a split-screen view of Maps and audio controls – like on Apple CarPlay – on wide screens and a new privacy screen to “control when Android Auto appears on your car display”. These Android Auto features are rolling out to users running Android 6 or newer.