Tech

Huawei can no longer make phones with SD card slots

Huawei can no longer make phones with SD card slots

Huawei just can't catch a break, which isn't really a surprise considering the pressure it's under. Of course, companies in the US are also under the same pressure to cut ties with the Chinese company. The latest to unceremoniously give Huawei the boot, at least from an outsider's perspective, is the SD Association which practically means Huawei is no longer allowed to make products, including smartphones, with SD or microSD card slots.

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Snapchat employees spied on users by abusing access to special tool

Snapchat employees spied on users by abusing access to special tool

Snapchat's claim to fame has always been its privacy feature, automatically deleting so-called ephemeral messages or after a period of time. Ironically, the social network's biggest criticisms have also been on its privacy practices. Now former employees are coming out, anonymously, of course, to reveal that the company hasn't exactly been exercising due diligence in making sure that a special tool primarily used for law enforcement and fighting abuse isn't being abused by employees themselves to spy on Snapchat users.

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2019 iPhone 11 models confirmed in Eurasian database sighting

2019 iPhone 11 models confirmed in Eurasian database sighting

The recent drama surrounding Huawei and the ban imposed by the US government has caused some chaos in the Android world. There will probably be no shortage of smartphone users from the other camp that are feeling relieved that they are far removed from all that. Of course, it's business as usual in Apple land and even Huawei headlines won't stop this year's "iPhone 11" generation from also making waves. Even if it's just unbranded model numbers found in a regulatory database.

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Google Duo group calling arrives with data saving mode in tow

Google Duo group calling arrives with data saving mode in tow

While instant messaging and chat is probably still the most popular way to communicate with a group of people, some find it more efficient and practical to actually say what they want face to face. Group video calls are definitely better when facial expressions and body language are just as important as the words being said or when you need to actually show things rather than fumble around with words to describe them. To that end, group calling is now being made available to Google Duo users but with one very important catch.

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Honor 20 Pro may not launch outside China, lacks Google certification

Honor 20 Pro may not launch outside China, lacks Google certification

While Huawei and, to some extent, Google would assure the public that it's business as usual for the Chinese maker's Android phones, reality is proving otherwise. Yes, Google has publicly committed to supporting existing Huawei and Honor phones and, yes, the OEM has been granted a 90-day reprieve. That, however, doesn't take into account new phones that haven't been certified yet including, apparently, the Honor 20 Pro, which may mean that the phone is dead on arrival in markets outside of China.

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Instagram’s IGTV now supports horizontal videos

Instagram’s IGTV now supports horizontal videos

Instagram's standalone video platform IGTV finally supports horizontal videos, the company has announced. The video app was, until now, limited to vertical content, which is arguably better suited for mobile devices but overall less popular than landscape orientation. The change is based on feedback from both viewers and creators, according to Instagram, which revealed in a post this week that its users really want horizontal videos.

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Always-listening Alexa could skip the wake word – if you trusted it

Always-listening Alexa could skip the wake word – if you trusted it

A newly published Amazon patent application details technology that would enable Alexa to listen to what you say before you summon her. The 'pre-wakework speech processing' ability would support phrases that put the wake word ('Alexa,' for example) after the command instead of before it. The technology would fix the 'problem' of clunky wake word placement in phrases.

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Plex improves Apple TV music experience and refines iOS controls

Plex improves Apple TV music experience and refines iOS controls

Plex on Apple TV has been updated with new audio features that makes it far more appealing to audiophiles and other discerning music lovers. With the new software version comes support for direct playback of high-quality audio, including FLAC and AAC, as well as gapless transitions, soft pauses, and more. As well, Plex has refined some controls on iOS and previewed its new Web desktop and TV designs.

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Google Search, Maps, and Assistant now all help you find food delivery

Google Search, Maps, and Assistant now all help you find food delivery

Finding something to eat is difficult enough without having to browse through the various services that would like to deliver it to you. There are a lot of them these days too, so Google is trying to streamline the food delivery process by surfacing new features in Search, Maps, and Assistant when you look for food, hopefully decreasing the time between that initial search and when it shows up at your door.

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Apple promises warnings if updating will slow your iPhone

Apple promises warnings if updating will slow your iPhone

Apple caused quite a stir when it became clear that the company was intentionally slowing some phones to compensate for aging batteries. The fallout from that revelation was rather wide reaching - not only did Apple end up discounting battery replacement charges for many iPhone models for a year, but it also added a toggle to iOS that allows users to decide for themselves if they want their phone's speed throttled to make up for their worn down batteries.

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iPhone 11 release dates align with EUA database

iPhone 11 release dates align with EUA database

A collection of iPhone 11 smartphones (iPhone 11 era, I should say, who knows their name), appeared in a database this week. A Eurasian database by the name of the Eurasian Economic Commission pushed the codes to the public via database listings for a collection of new iPhone devices. These are the 2019 iPhone code-names: A2111, A2160, A2161, A2215, A2216, A2217, A2218, A2219, A2220, A2221, and A2223.

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Amazon’s secret wearable might have an emotion-detecting Alexa

Amazon’s secret wearable might have an emotion-detecting Alexa

Amazon is already neck-deep in the world of smart assistants with Alexa, but today we're learning that it may be working on new technology that will make these AI assistants quite a bit more capable. Amazon is said to working on a new wearable device that can discern human emotions, and while it would indeed be pretty cool if it was able to pick up on human emotions accurately, it's sure to spark an entirely new privacy debate.

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