Author Archives: Ewdison Then

Ewdison Then is the founder of GiXiO, the publisher of SlashGear - An open-source advocate, Linux geek, high-performance computing engineer, and consumer technology journalist based in Japan. He was heavily involved in open source projects such as Fedora Linux, Blue Linux, and FoxServ WAMP stacks. Twitter / LinkedIn / Email

More Pixel-first Snapchat features are coming

More Pixel-first Snapchat features are coming

Google often launches Pixel phones with exclusive features unavailable to other Android phones or even to some of its older Pixels. Of course, most of those were developed by Google itself or involved Google's apps and services. With the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, however, Google has partnered with social media giant Snapchat for a number of exclusives, starting with the ability to quickly take a Snap right from the lock screen without having to authenticate to unlock the phone first.

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Pixel Pass introduces Google’s new way to buy its phones

Pixel Pass introduces Google’s new way to buy its phones

Many consumers, especially in the US, prefer to buy their phones from their mobile carriers, not really out of loyalty to the network. More often than not, it's the subsidies and financing options that soften the blow when buying a new and more expensive smartphone. Manufacturers have, of course, started offering such options to convince people to buy phones directly for them, and Google's new Pixel Pass takes that idea a bit further by putting Pixel 6 buyers knee-deep in its services for a long time.

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Pixel 6 Magic Eraser removes uninvited people from photos

Pixel 6 Magic Eraser removes uninvited people from photos

A few years ago, Google teased the almost magical ability that would allow people to remove "distracting objects" from photos, whether they be a fence or innocent bystanders. While that functionality has been available on some photo editing software like Photoshop, it was far from automatic nor convenient for mere mortals. It took more than four years for that moment to finally come, and Pixel 6 owners can now confidently take photos even when they know there are people or things lurking in the background.

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Microsoft Autofill wants to be your all-in-one data entry solution

Microsoft Autofill wants to be your all-in-one data entry solution

Password managers are a dime a dozen these days, but some of them have fallen out of favor due to one business-related change or another. Some password managers are also limited to doing just what their name suggests, creating and storing passwords. These days, however, many users find themselves wanting to store and retrieve more than just passwords, and Microsoft's new Autofill service is aiming to fill that need across all platforms, both mobile and desktop.

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Stadia Controller and Android TV will soon play nicer with each other

Stadia Controller and Android TV will soon play nicer with each other

Stadia has always been an odd duck among Google's myriad products. While it does have ties to the company's expertise in cloud computing and ML-based optimizations to network communications, it was Google's first major foray into the mainstream gaming industry. It also opted to use its Chromecast platform as the launching pad rather than its more mobile Android or even Chrome OS. Android TV support was also almost like an afterthought, but Google seems to be making up for lost time with a stream of new features, including better Stadia Controller support on Android TV.

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OnePlus Watch Harry Potter limited edition will really need some magic

OnePlus Watch Harry Potter limited edition will really need some magic

Nostalgia is a very strong emotion and one that can be capitalized on almost too easily. That has been proven by many successful crowdfunded campaigns, as well as hot-selling items like retro consoles in miniature forms. OnePlus is now tapping on that same feeling to sell a new limited edition of its OnePlus Watch. And if this throwback to the earliest days of Harry Potter is any indication, it will really need some of that wizarding magic to sell well.

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Apple regains second place slot from Xiaomi in Q3 2021

Apple regains second place slot from Xiaomi in Q3 2021

The smartphone market has been in a bit of flux in the past year and a half. In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, Huawei's exodus from the world's top five vendors has caused a shift in the grand order of things. The industry is now facing another major disruption that could last it well into 2022, but, at least based on one market analyst's figures, Apple has been able to take advantage of the situation and regain its place as the world's second-biggest smartphone maker.

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Microsoft might be designing its own Surface processor

Microsoft might be designing its own Surface processor

It seems that the big game in the consumer tech market these days is for companies to design their own silicon in one form or another. Apple has, of course, been making the Apple A series of chips for iPhones and iPads far longer than its rivals, but Google has apparently started to catch on. Even Vivo jumped in on the game with its own V1 imagine signal processor. It's really no surprise that Microsoft might be joining the bandwagon, though its exact plans are still up for much speculation and debate.

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Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra might be a limited edition product

Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra might be a limited edition product

Given the ongoing global chip shortage, it's almost a miracle that Samsung is still able to throw that many smartphones at the market at its usual rate. Of course, it can't do so forever as long as that situation lasts, and it might finally feel the crunch with its next batch of devices. There are already disappointing rumors regarding the Galaxy S21 FE, which might still be launched in January, and some troubling concerns regarding some Galaxy S22 models. It seems that the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra might be another victim but, curiously, from a different kind of supply and production problem.

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Nothing will launch a smartphone next year

Nothing will launch a smartphone next year

Given the company was pretty much at the height of its success last year, it was almost shocking that OnePlus would suddenly lose its co-founder out of the blue. Of course, Carl Pei left OnePlus on good terms, at least publicly speaking, to found his own hardware company, amusingly named "Nothing." It was largely expected that Nothing would make its own phone, but that hasn't come to pass just yet. That doesn't mean it won't happen, though, and the Nothing Phone could finally turn into something by 2022.

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Nintendo Switch OLED iFixit teardown reveals the big changes inside

Nintendo Switch OLED iFixit teardown reveals the big changes inside

Those who have been patiently waiting for a substantial upgrade to the Nintendo Switch console may have been more than just miffed by the new OLED model. Although it might make some business sense for the gaming giant, the lack of significant hardware improvement on the four-year-old gaming console has fans continually frustrated. But while the new Nintendo Switch OLED seems like just a single step forward, iFixit proves there are many more changes than meets the eye, for better or for worse.

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Apple Watch Series 7 photo shows Apple Watch 6 comparison

Apple Watch Series 7 photo shows Apple Watch 6 comparison

Apple's products always sell well, regardless of the initial sentiment when they are first announced. The company's September event disappointed some who had hoped to see bigger upgrades on the iPhone 13. The biggest disappointment, however, may have come from expectations over the Apple Watch Series 7 based on leaks and rumors. The official version of the smartwatch may not have exactly been spectacularly different, but this latest real-world photo of the Apple Watch Series 7 reaffirms the upgrade that fans wanted in the first place.

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