Android 11 – Preview, Features & Release Date

When is Android 11 being released?

  • Announcement on 3 June
  • Presentation begins at 11am Eastern Time/4pm BST/5PM CET/8:30PM Mumbai

As with most presentations and launch events for 2020, Google is shifting its big reveal online. The Android 11 beta launch show will start at 11am ET on 3 June. At this point we’ll find out how many of the new features actually make it to the final software.

The first public beta will likely be pushed out around about that time, but the official public release of final software isn’t normally released until a few months down the line, typically in the fourth quarter around the time new phones are launched.

Which phones will get it?

Initially, the launch will make its way to Google Pixel phones. In its developer preview versions, that has meant the following phones:

1. Pixel 2 and 2 XL

2. Pixel 3 and 3 XL

3. Pixel 3a and 3a XL

4. Pixel 4 and 4 XL

Features:

Message bubbles

When you receive a message through the regular messages app, you can have it show up a notification in a floating bubble on the screen similar to how Facebook Messenger’s Chat Heads works.

Eventually this will be available to other third party apps, but currently it’s just the one. To use it, just long-press a message notification and tap “show in a bubble”, and now you get your bubbles.

Resizable picture-in-picture window

Whenever you close a video app like YouTube or Netflix in Android it automatically puts that video in a small floating window on top of everything else, and keeps playing the video. In Android 11’s developer preview, Google added the option to resize that picture-in-picture window.

Screen recording

One cool new feature which some other Android phones already do – like the OnePlus 8 and 7T series phones – is easy screen recording. Drop down the quick setting shade, and the option is right there.

Redesigned notifications

What’s cool is that Android 11 breaks out and sorts notifications into relevant groups, so conversations – like the aforementioned SMS messages – appear at the top in their own easy to read section, making it easier to quickly reply and carry on with your tasks. Splitting them away from the other stuff you probably don’t care about as much.

Dark mode scheduling

Dark Mode first appeared as a system wide setting on Android 10. With Android 11 you can schedule and automated it. Set the time you want it to switch on or off each day manually by setting the time within the settings.

  • Sky Q HDR, Sony ZV-1 and Giles Martin talks Sonos Arc – Pocket-lint Podcast 55

Like so many apps and other Android phones you can also choose to have it come on at sunset, and switch off at sunrise.

Neuralink nearly ready for the first volunteers

Neuralink, the AI-brain-chip company spearheaded by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. Could be ready to put a version of its implant in a person “within a year,”.

Neuralink, which was founded in 2016, is Musk’s neural technology company that’s developing an implant designed to interface directly with the human brain.

“There’s still a lot of work to do,” Musk said when speaking with Rogan. “So when I say, you know, we’ve probably got a shot at putting it in a person, you know, within a year. I think, that’s exactly what I mean, I think we have a chance of putting input in one end. Having them be healthy, and restoring some functionality that they’ve lost.”

“It could, in principle, fix anything that’s wrong with the brain,” Musk said.

It’s not the first time Musk has made such claims. Back in July 2019, Musk said that he hoped to have an implant in a human patient by the end of next year.

But that’s just the early ambitions Musk has in store for Neuralink. In the long term, he hopes to develop a device that could enable “symbiosis” between humans and AI.

Neuralink plans to start testing its technology on human volunteers during the second quarter of 2020, pending FDA approval. Neuralink will drill four 8-millimeter holes in their skulls and then insert threads that will pass neuronal data to an implant behind the ear. This will then send information to a computer. This time line is highly ambitious and pretty unlikely, to say the least.

SpaceX launches NASA astronauts into space

For the first time in nearly a decade, NASA launched astronauts into space from U.S. territory.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft carries two NASA astronauts, Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, who are expected to reach the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday.

Ever since NASA’s Space Shuttle program ended in 2011. The U.S. has used Russia’s Soyuz rockets to take astronauts into space. Sadly, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were no big crowds to watch the launch, both on Wednesday and Saturday.

With Saturday’s launch, SpaceX is on its way to becoming the first private company to carry NASA astronauts to the ISS. The success of NASA’s Demo-2 brings the U.S. closer to eventually bringing astronauts back to the Moon, and then possibly on to Mars.

Just before Saturday’s rescheduled launch, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine praised Musk. “[He’s] brought vision and inspiration,” he said Friday at a NASA news conference. “He’s brilliant, he’s capable.”

Wednesday’s launch was only 16 minutes from takeoff. But unfavorable weather conditions kept the rocket and spacecraft from blasting the two astronauts to the ISS. Rocket fuel had been loaded and the astronauts were settled in the hatch with their SpaceX spacesuits.

The weather cooperated for Saturday’s launch, despite NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine noting earlier in the day that there remained a “50% chance of cancellation” due to weather. The launch went off without a hitch. The reusable SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that carried the Crew Dragon capsule into orbit safely detached from the capsule. Also returned to Earth’s atmosphere, where it landed

World’s fastest internet connection: 44.2 Tbps

Internet is never fast enough, but a group of researchers from the Monash, Swinburne, and RMIT universities in Australia have reached speeds that would sate even the hungriest of data geeks.

In a new paper published in Nature Communications (via The Verge), the researchers describe how they managed to hit speeds of 44.2 Tbps (terabits per second), a new world record.

Impressively, they’ve done this using standard optic fiber, both in the laboratory. An actual network in the greater metropolitan area of Melbourne, Australia. The 44.2 Tbps result was for a raw bitrate; for a coded rate and in the field, this speed fell down to 39 Tbps, which is still very respectable.

To achieve these speeds, the researchers used “soliton crystal micro-combs,” which are “optical frequency combs generated by integrated micro-cavity resonators.” Yes, it’s one of those technologies that sounds increasingly complicated the more you read about them; suffice to say that these researchers have managed to use the micro-combs to increase data transfer speeds.

“This work demonstrates their ability to support ultrahigh bandwidth data transmission in practical and demanding environments,” the researchers conclude.

Here’s a quick comparison: 44.2 terabits per second equals 5.525 terabytes per second. In late 2019, Pornhub said it hosts 11 petabytes of data, which is 11,000 terabytes. A person would be able to download all the videos on Pornhub in roughly 1991 seconds, or 33.2 minutes.

Credits : https://digin.tech/

Microsoft Surface Headphones 2 Review

Microsoft achieved something very impressive with the original Surface Headphones: the company was able to leapfrog veterans of the noise-canceling headphone market (like Bose and Sony) with an ingenious method for controlling them. With a twist of the smooth-turning dial on either ear cup, you could adjust volume and the level of active noise cancellation.

The Surface Headphones 2 retain the understated design of their predecessors. Except for a glossy Windows logo on each side of the headband, there’s no branding to be found. The matte black model is very classy — albeit less recognizable than the light gray color.

Everything else feels very familiar. Except for the dials along the perimeter, the entire surface area of either ear cup can be tapped to pause or play music, skip tracks, and answer calls. In leaving volume and noise cancellation to the dials and separating them from the touch controls. Microsoft makes everything feel more focused and easy to remember.

Noise Canceling

Microsoft’s noise canceling isn’t quite as effective as what Bose or Sony can achieve. But the Surface Headphones 2 are perfectly capable of quieting the types of ambient noise and constant hums that can grow irksome when you’re trying to focus. I do struggle to understand why anyone would need 13 levels of noise cancellation to switch between, though.

Battery Life

Microsoft has boosted battery life to 20 hours with noise cancellation enabled. That’s at par with the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 but well under Sony’s 30 hours. Still, 20 hours means you’ll likely only have to charge these once — maybe twice if you’re using them constantly. When you power the headphones on, a voice tells you how many hours of battery life are remaining.

Vivo’s newest flagship has a giant camera lens

Vivo has started teasing its next flagship phone, the X50. A video posted to Weibo shows off the camera module, which includes a periscope telephoto, two normal-looking lenses, and one much larger module that is presumably for the primary camera. The lens rotates as the module is manipulated by a robotic gimbal, suggesting the key feature here is image stabilization.

Vivo said the design was inspired by chameleons’ eyes and is 200 percent more effective than typical OIS. Allowing for longer nighttime exposures and smoother video. It looks like the X50 will be the first commercial deployment of this idea.

The Apex 2020 also had a unique periscope zoom system where the lens elements actually move.  It’s not clear, however, whether this new periscope design will make it into the X50. The camera module says “16-135” below the lenses, which could just describe a periscope prime of 5x the focal length of a 27mm primary camera.

It’s possible that the X50 could use Samsung’s new ISOCELL GN1 sensor, which was just announced yesterday. A Vivo product manager posted about the new sensor on Weibo, highlighting its 1/1.3-inch size and 2.4μm-equivalent pixels. The GN1’s large physical size together with Vivo’s advanced stabilization tech could certainly explain the unusually big primary lens on the X50.

Vivo’s X50 event is set to take place on June 1st.

The Oppo Watch – The new competitor of Apple Watch

The Oppo Watch

First up, yep, this looks like an Apple Watch. The OLED screen, though, is an improvement. It’s larger than the 44mm Apple Watch at 1.91 inches across, but the watch keeps a 46mm size; Oppo has shrunken the bezels and curved the edges of the screen itself along with the cover glass. The pixel density is the same as the Apple Watch at 326ppi. The colors are super vibrant, and it’s easy to see outside.

The chassis of the watch takes design cues from Oppo’s smartphones. There’s no crown-style control here, just two physical buttons on the right edge; everything else is handled by the touchscreen. Oppo’s watch straps are detachable in a similar way to the Apple Watch. With simple buttons for the release mechanism on the watch’s rear.

While the Oppo Watch I’m using is made of aluminum, it’s polished to a glossy blue-black finish.

Oppo Watch OS

The Oppo Watch runs a customized version of Android 8.1 called ColorOS Watch. Like Samsung, Oppo has figured out that Apple was onto something in designing a predominantly white-on-black OS for small OLED screens; it saves power and is a lot more discreet. No prizes for originality — this software definitely looks more like watchOS than it needs to — but it’s the right direction.

Unlike Tizen and watchOS, though, ColorOS Watch is extremely simple. The top button brings up a scrolling app drawer or takes you back to the watch face, and the bottom button gets you to the settings menu. You can swipe left and right to change faces, there’s a quick settings screen accessible with a swipe down, and a swipe up takes you to the notifications shade. Everything is smooth and responsive. Notifications can display a lot of content, like full Facebook Messenger messages, though you can’t interact with them.

The most interesting thing about the Oppo Watch software is its selection of built-in apps, which are accessible through a scrolling grid that’s halfway between the Apple Watch’s weird honeycomb and list views. There are the usual apps for phone calls, fitness tracking, timers, and weather, as well as an on-watch app store and China-specific services like Alipay. It’s a pretty robust feature set, including things like sleep tracking that haven’t come to the Apple Watch yet.

Apple Glass: Release date, price, specs and leaks

Apple Glass, Apple’s elusive AR lenses project, is coming, and we’re starting to learn a lot more about what the futuristic, first-generation wearable could look like.

When we first heard word of “Apple Glasses,” rumors suggested the lenses would launch this year. But with Apple’s 2020 product line fully fleshed out with the likes of the iPhone 12, Apple Watch 6 and AirPods Studio.

One reliable analyst said Apple Glass could come as soon as next year. While another longtime source for Apple product releases believes the release won’t happen until 2022. Either way, the project is definitely in the works.

Apple Glass is expected to run on Starboard, a proprietary operating system uncovered in the final version of iOS 13. The augmented reality framework shows up multiple times in code and text documents. This means that Apple is likely testing activation and application.

Apple Glasses price

According to Prosser the Apple Glasses are currently priced at $499, plus prescription fees. Now that may seem low, especially compared to competing augmented reality headsets like the Microsoft Hololens 2.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 – Launch Date

Samsung will launch its Galaxy Note 20 smartphone in August at an online-only event. Marking the first time a Note series flagship launch won’t be held in a real-world venue.

This is according to the Korea Herald, which cites industry sources as saying that the company has made the decision to go online-only due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Samsung typically launches its Note series smartphones in New York City over the summer. Last year’s Note 10 and Note 10+ were launched on August 7, with thousands of people in attendance.

According to the outlet, the exact launch date for the Note 20 is still in flux. Given there’s no need to organize a venue, Samsung may move the date to the most opportune time.

Besides the Note 20, Samsung is also likely to launch a larger phone, the Note 20+ at the same event.

Recent rumors indicate that the Galaxy Note 20 will have a 108-megapixel camera, as well as a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset.

The news follows a report that Google will launch its Pixel 4a phone on July 13, also at an online-only event.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Review

Review

There are two big things to address with folding phones: the screen and the hinge. These two parts are such a focus because they’re the things that aren’t yet solved problems in the phone world. It’s where the experimentation is happening, and it’s also where the biggest points of failure are found.

Samsung’s so-called “Ultra Thin Glass” is 30 microns thick, on the order of a very thin human hair. That has consequences. Chief among them: any ding or nick in the glass could be catastrophic.

Then there’s the crease in the middle of the screen. It is there, no getting around it. I can see it when I’m looking for it, but I don’t see it when I’m not. It also feels a little odd, but not so much to put me off like it did on the Razr. The screen is also surrounded by big, raised plastic bezels. I don’t love them, but I also understand their necessity and don’t find them especially annoying.

Third, there is a small gap when the phone is closed. That’s a little scary because, again, the screen is fairly fragile, and it’s a space where debris could get wedged in. (The Motorola Razr, for its many faults, managed to fold completely flat without any gaps.)

Fourth and lastly, Samsung has added brushes and caps to the hinge to better protect it from debris getting inside. That’s the issue that likely destroyed the screen on my very first Galaxy Fold review unit last April. Will these new brushes work? Who knows! They couldn’t stand up to a dust test from iFixit, but it was a very aggressive test. All I can say is that I have more faith in this hinge holding up than I did in the Razr’s or the original Fold’s.