Saturday, February 10, 2018

HTC U12 Release Date, Specs & New Feature Rumours

HTC used to be right up there with Apple, Samsung, LG and Sony in terms of how much hype we saw around its flagship launch. Fast-forward to 2018 and we're not even expecting an HTC flagship to be announced at this year's MWC tradeshow - though the HTC U12 is coming, and it's been recently spotted at a 5G conference (see image above, via @iamaniff).
Also see: What to expect from MWC 2018

When is the HTC U12 release date?

You'll probably have heard that last year HTC made a deal with Google. It was not a buyout or acquisition, but the 'Cooperation Agreement' did include $1.1bn in cash and the transfer of some HTC employees to Google. The search giant also received a non-exclusive licence for HTC intellectual property, though the phone maker has continued to make and sell devices.
A statement from HTC at the time suggested that the company would retain "best-in-class engineering talent", which is "currently working on the next flagship phone".
HTC's last three flagships have been announced in March, April and May. Our money is on May for the successor to the HTC U11.

What are the rumoured new features and specifications of the HTC U12?

There are a couple of interesting concepts out there giving us a look at what HTC's 2018 flagship might look like, as well as leaked images from a 5G conference that reportedly show the HTC U12 in the flesh.
The first concept, below, shows a design similar to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6. It features tiny bezels at the top and bottom in order to fit in a 5.7in 4K display with curved corners, according to Gizmochina.
HTC U12 leak
Another leak shows a non-descript black slab - that GMSArena claims is the HTC U12. Make of it what you will, but the power and volume positions of the keys are the same as on the U11:

More design changes are in force with HTC going back to a metal casing, rather than the shiny glass of the U11 and there's no visible fingerprint scanner. Gizmochina suggests that Qualcomm's under-display sensor tech will be in use.
Other rumours specs include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The chip rumour is backed up by a report that claims a leaked document shows phones in 2018 that will get the 845. It looks a tad suspect, mind you.
There might also be JBL speakers but no headphone jack, a 16Mp front facing camera and dual rear cameras.
The concept of dual-cameras has seemingly been confirmed by HTC itself, which says it will start producing dual-camera phones again next year.
Another HTC U12 concept looks similar at the front, albeit with stereo speakers and no rounded corners on the screen. At the back it's also showing a metal design but a single camera and fingerprint scanner.

157 New Emojis Including Woozy Face and Pirate Flag are Coming to Your Phone Later This Year

157 New Emojis Including Woozy Face and Pirate Flag are Coming to Your Phone Later This Year
The Unicode Consortium has released Emoji 11.0 data with 157 new emoji characters, bringing the total number of approved emojis to 2,823. The latest emoji list, which is "fixed and final," includes a man and woman emoji in various hairstyles, including red-haired, curly-haired, white-haired, and bald, as well new superhero and supervillain characters in multiple skin tones. All the newly made emojis should be available on mobile phones and other devices sometime in August or September. In the meanwhile, sample images suggesting the new emojis are available on the Web.
Emojipedia, which is an online encyclopedia for emojis, has developed a video to give a glimpse of all the new emojis that are coming this year. The nearly two-minute video shows various new faces, including a partying face, pledging face, woozy face, smiling with 3 hearts, hot face, and cold face. Similarly, there are emoji characters defining living beings other than humans, such as a microbe, mosquito, parrot, peacock, badger, raccoon, swan, kangaroo, and lobster among others. There are also science-centric objects in the form of a test tube, petri dish, and DNA.
The new emoji characters are currently available as "just samples", which means software vendors will be able to design their own emoji sets. This will mainly help Apple, Google, and Microsoft to construct emoji characters as per their requirements and make them compatible with their software. Moreover, the version number for the newest Unicode emoji release is jumping directly from the previously released Emoji 5.0 to Emoji 11.0, instead of a 6.0 version, to synchronise the version number for emojis with the corresponding version number of the Unicode Standard.
You can expect the new emoji release on your Android or iOS devices in the coming months. Moreover, apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are likely to include the new emoji characters later this year.
Last year, emoji characters were in the headlines multiple times. There was an intense debate on Twitter over the cheese placement in a burger that brought an update to Android's original cheeseburger emoji. Separately, the middle finger emoji on WhatsApp saw an allegation of obscene and lewd gesture. WhatsApp even faced a legal notice by a Delhi-based advocate for having the objectionable emoji on its platform

Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, Others to Use Qualcomm 5G Modem With First Devices Coming in 2019

Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, Others to Use Qualcomm 5G Modem With First Devices Coming in 2019
More than a dozen global smartphone and PC OEMs have tied up with Qualcomm to incorporate the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem on to their mobile devices. Qualcomm has said the first smartphones featuring its X50 5G NR modem will hit the market in 2019, with Chinese brand Vivo promising such a handset next year. Major mobile phone OEMs joining hands with Qualcomm to incorporate the 5Gmodem in their future smartphones include the likes of Xiaomi, Nokia brand licensee HMD Global, Sony, LG, HTC, Oppo, and ZTE.
Other OEMs that have partnered with Qualcomm are Fujitsu, Inseego/ Novatel Wireless, NetComm Wireless, Netgear, Sharp, Sierra Wireless, Telit, Wingtech, and WNC. Devices by these OEMs will be built around the sub-6GHz and millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum bands starting next year.
Apart from smartphones, the new Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem will be available on Always Connected PCs, Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs) - including Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Extended Reality (XR) - and Mobile Broadband. Qualcomm claims this technology will offer faster browsing, faster downloads, better streaming, and instant cloud access on phones. The modem will enable high speed and low latency for Always Connected PCs, and ultra-low latency for HMDs.
"As evidenced by our work with these distinguished OEMs from around the globe and as we demonstrated in 3G and 4G LTE, Qualcomm Technologies is utilizing our deep expertise and technology leadership to support the successful launch of 5G NR, driving innovation in the mobile ecosystem," said Alex Katouzian, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobile, Qualcomm Technologies.
Separately, Qualcomm has also partnered with several wireless network operators in the above mentioned sub-6GHz and millimetre wave (mmWave) bands. These include AT&T, British Telecom, Sprint, China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Verizon, Telstra, Singtel among others. The upcoming trials will combine Qualcomm's 5G platform and smartphone reference design with an aim to commercialise compliant 5G products later this year.
To further showcase this, planned demonstrations will be held at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Qualcomm booth is expected to have Snapdragon X50 modems reaching speeds of "several gigabits per second."
A HTC handset with 5G support, said to be the U12, was recently showcased at an industry event in Taiwan. The handset was shown delivering download speeds of 809.58Mbps.

Myetherwallet Relaunches as Mycrypto Following a Hostile Twitter Takeover

Myetherwallet Relaunches as Mycrypto Following a Hostile Twitter Takeover

Myetherwallet, the web’s most popular client-side ethereum interface, has announced a surprise rebrand. The service will henceforth be known as Mycrypto following an acrimonious split. The sudden move took one half of the Myetherwallet team by surprise, who claims the “Twitter handle was changed without knowledge or permission of MEW’s founder”. It has also emerged that a lawsuit was filed in December, with one party alleging that the other failed to allow them to inspect the company’s books. It now looks like there will be two competing brands moving forward, Myetherwallet and Mycrypto.

Myetherwallet Hard Forks

Myetherwallet Relaunches as Mycrypto Following a Hostile Twitter Takeover
Mycrypto’s Taylor Monahan
On Thursday evening, the Myetherwallet Twitter account announced to its 77,000 followers that it had rebranded as Mycrypto and had a new Twitter handle to match. There was just one problem: founder Taylor Monahan doesn’t seem to have told her co-founder Kosala. The revelation sparked a Twitter spat and overshadowed what had initially looked like a slick rebrand. The first ethereum wallet with a proper interface, MEW, as it’s affectionately known, has been around since 2015.
Its users witnessed the DAO hack and subsequent hard fork of the ethereum blockchain to create two versions of the coin: ETH and ETC. Now, MEW has undergone its own hard fork that’s set to be every bit as contentious as the one that came in the wake of the DAO. In a blog post, Taylor explained the reasons behind the rebrand – but conveniently forgot to mention that she had done so without the consensus of her founding partner, and had nabbed the Twitter account into the bargain. In December, Kosala filed a lawsuit in California after Taylor allegedly refused to let him inspect MEW’s books.
Myetherwallet Relaunches as Mycrypto Following a Hostile Twitter Takeover
Headed “A New Beginning”, the post begins: “This is the story of Myetherwallet, and how this has led us down the path to Mycrypto. It is long because I hope it gives you insight into who we were, who we are, and who we aim to be in 2018 and beyond.” The article then delves into MEW’s humble beginnings in 2015 when it was created by Taylor and Kosala. She explains: “It was a simple interface that provided a simple solution to a problem: when Ethereum first launched, the only way to send your Ether was via command line.”
Myetherwallet Relaunches as Mycrypto Following a Hostile Twitter Takeover

The ICO Years

Myetherwallet started out as little more than a hobby, but by 2017, amidst peak ICO mania, had become the hub around which the entire ethereum community revolved. Taylor recalls:
When the price skyrocketed, ICOs and noobs came zooming in on the promise of getting rich. We suddenly had a real user base and real servers that we had to learn to scale. The phishing sites appeared and the work and expertise to be secure in this space climbed steadily. Our daily messages doubled, and then doubled again… and again… and again.
She confesses that the toll of answering support tickets until long into the night took its toll. “My husband..cooked dinner each evening, and carried me to bed at 4am… then 5am… then 7am when I fell asleep typing at the computer. I consistently chose “trying to help one more person” over “a few more moments of sleep”. And there was “always one more person.”

Mighty Wallets From Tiny Acorns Grow

Moving to the present day, Taylor explains: “This adventure needed to transform from ‘fun side project’ to ‘a real company’ …and fast.” As of today, ethereum users can get their ethereum fix from which operates just like “Myetherwallet will continue to be online until it, for whatever reason, is not online,” writes Taylor, hinting at the fact that the rebrand may not have been a unanimous decision.
It is evident that a rift had developed between MEW’s founders, who had once been so tight, for Taylor writes: “I was terrified — am terrified — at the potential harm this change will have on myself, the team, and/or the Ethereum community but ultimately, the risks created by continuing down the road we were on are greater than the risks of splitting to a new brand, new company, new name, and new domain.”
The Ethereum community are accustomed to dealing with splits, but the forking of Myetherwallet seems to have caught everyone unawares.Within minutes of tweeting news of the rebrand, Kosala hit back via a new MEW Twitter account, writing: “Myetherwallet is safe and functioning normally. You may continue to use Myetherwallet as you normally would, your wallets have not been compromised. At present, we are dealing with  what we believe to be an unlawful, social media account switch. We are addressing the situation presently and @kvhnuke_ will provide updates as they come available”. He has since provided a full statement confirming the split.

UK banks block Bitcoin purchases with credit cards

Lloyds Banking Group which owns Halifax, Bank of Scotland, MBNA and Lloyds will block Bitcoin purchases with their credit cards. The restriction is applied because the financial institutions worry that their customers might borrow cash to invest in the cryptocurrency and might end up in debt.
UK banks block Bitcoin purchases with credit cards
Bitcoin price jumped from $800 to over $18,000 in 12 months, as the public interest grew. The price is currently under $8,000, and banks are worried their customers might get caught up in the craze and end up maxing out their credit cards.
The same decision was taken last week in the US. Bank of America, JP Morgan Change, and Citigroup credit cards are now blocked from Bitcoin purchases, citing the same reasons. Although some countries are already treating the cryptocurrency as a taxable commodity, governments are still struggling to figure out a proper regulation.

OnePlus 5T Lava Red becomes available in the US and Europe

The sale of the Lava Red OnePlus 5T has begun – it’s launching in Europe and the US, following successful launches in China and India.
This is a limited edition model so it won’t be available for long and it only comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage (there's no 6GB/64GB option). The price is the same as the equivalent Midnight Black model - $560/€560/£500.
OnePlus 5T Lava Red becomes available in the US and Europe
OnePlus offers free priority shipping if you order before February 9. Also, hit the Source link and check the bottom of the page – some accessories are 15% off if you buy two (it’s a Valentine’s Day offer).

Telegram adds streaming and auto-night mode on Android

Telegram has added streaming support on the Android app. Videos can now be watched without downloading them first. Clicking on the video will start streaming and you can watch it instantly.
Telegram video streaming auto-night mode auto-night mode
Telegram video streaming • auto-night mode
The update also adds auto-night mode on Android. The app can now automatically switch to the night mode at night or in a dark environment. These changes are available in the latest v4.8 of the app.
Telegram also announced a new login widget for websites. Websites can now have the Telegram widget to authenticate new users, similar to Facebook, Twitter or Google login. While logging in with the Telegram widget for the first time, you will get confirmation message in the app to authenticate your browser. After loggin in, Telegram shares your name, Telegram username and profile picture with the website but nothing else, including your phone number. You can always revoke your authorization at a later date if you wish.
Login confirmation Improved bots
Login confirmation • Improved bots
Along with the widget, Telegram also improved the bots, which can now interact with you directly without you first having to message them. These bots can now be used by services for things such as customer support, accepting payments, or sending notifications for things like delivery status, flight status, account statements, etc.

Deal: used iPhone 6s (Grade A) for just £200

If you’re looking for an iPhone on the cheap, you might have to get one used – Apple slashes its prices very rarely. An iPhone 6s from late 2015 costs £450 new, way too much for a device that’s over two years old. If you do want to get a used one, eBay has a nice deal.
An iPhone 6s with 16GB of storage goes for – used, Grade A - £200 (you can drop to Grade B for £190). 64GB is £245 and 128GB is £310 (32GB is sold out).
You’re getting 12 months of warranty and some generic accessories – USB cable and SIM ejector.
Deal: used iPhone 6s (Grade A) starting from £200
The availability of colors varies so you should check the specific combination you’re looking for. Hit the Source link to check out the deal.

LG V30s with 256GB storage to show up at MWC

We heard that LG will bring an upgraded V30 to the MWC, though company officials refutedthat this is in lieu of a G7. Anyway, ETNews reports that the upgraded model will be called LG V30s and will focus on AI and something called LG Lens.
The V30s model will have 256GB of built in storage, double what the LG V30+ offers and four times the 64GB of the base model.
LG V30s with 256GB storage reportedly bought a ticket for the MWC
As for LG Lens, it’s the company’s vision-based assistant. You can snap a photo and the AI will recognize the object and seek out prices. Lens can translate text (like QuickTranslator)as well as give you location-based info. It also does barcode and QR code recognition.
The LG V30s is expected to launch in Korea first at a price of around 1 million won ($920/€750).

Alleged specs of the Snapdragon 670 leak online

Now that we’ve heard the announcement of the Snapdragon 845 from Qualcomm back in December, we turn our attention to the headlining model of Qualcomm’s 600-series chips: the Snapdragon 670. This chip is supposed to succeed the popular Snapdragon 660 CPU and its alleged specs have leaked as WinFuture reports.
According to reports, the Snapdragon 670 will be built on the 10nm process, putting it on the same hardware level as the much more efficient higher-end CPUs like the Snapdragon 835 or the Exynos 8895.
The SD 670 will have a modified Cortex A55 cluster with six high-efficiency cores dubbed Kryo 300 Silver. Meanwhile, the higher performance cluster will comprise of two Cortex A75 cores and will be called Kryo 300 Gold. The efficient cores are clocked to 1.7GHz while the higher performance cores will top 2.6 GHz. It's performance will fall somewhere between the Snapdragon 845 and the Snapdragon 660.
Each cluster will have 32Kb of L1 cache, 128Kb of L2 Cache, and 1024Kb of L3 cache altogether.

The Adreno 615 GPU will pair with the Snapdragon 670 and will operate between 430 and 650 MHz with a 700 MHz turbo mode for intensive graphic sessions. The GPU will support dual camera (and likely smartphones equipped with four cameras) but the maximum resolution isn’t known. As a reference, the reference designs for the 670 used a 13MP + 23MP setup.
The chip will feature Qualcomm’s X2x modem, which would be capable of pulling up to 1Gbps (theoretical) speeds. The chip should also support UFS memory and the older eMMC 5.1 flash standard.
The 670’s specs have been leaked back in December, along with a few others like the Snapdragon 640 and the 460, however a few of the 670’s specs don’t match the new reports.
Qualcomm hasn’t actually announced this chip yet, but it might be preparing to do so at MWC given that it’s a widely international mobile conference where an upper-midrange chipset would be an appropriate piece of hardware to show off. As it stands, the 670 was rumored to start appearing in hardware in the first half of the year, so a launch at MWC would only make sense.