March 23, 2017
Samsung has announced the new virtual assistant software for its upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone, named “Bixby”. Samsung said the AI assistant, and artificial learning in general, will form the “core” of the user interface for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. Bixby will launch with the new devices, expected to be launched March 29.
Though the exact functionality of Bixby is not yet clear, Samsung claims that the new assistant will be able to directly control apps based on voice commands. If these claims are borne out in the final product, it could mean that using the touchscreen would not be necessary to accomplish tasks on the Galaxy S8. This would be a big improvement over competing software like Siri, which mainly answers questions but is limited with more complex tasks.
(Image via: Engadget)
March 16, 2017
Virtual reality and augmented reality has been a major theme at this year’s SXSW, the gargantuan tech, film and music festival that descends on Austin, TX each March. VR has been a staple of SXSW’s tech events for years, and this year has continued to expand with new and innovative VR experiences.
Sony had a lot of VR to show at SXSW, including a twist on the game of tag. Superception is a four-player VR game that forces you to see from four perspectives at once — your own, and those of your opponents – using a split-screen display.
Sony also showed off enhanced versions of Playstation VR games Rez Infinite and Resident Evil 7 that allowed players to feel vibration feedback through a vest or full-body “synesthesia suit.”
This year was also the first time that VR crossed over into the SXSW Film Festival with an official lineup of “Virtual Cinema.” This included the high production value, almost feature-length VR film Miyubi, which appeared earlier this year at Sundance and featured acting by Jeff Goldblum.
(Image via: Engadget)
According to a report on Apple’s supply chain, Apple may be planning to increase its supply of OLED displays over the next two years, indicating that the company plans to use the enhanced displays for every iPhone model by 2019. The report claims that Apple will purchase 60 million OLED iPhone screen this year, most likely for the new device currently dubbed “iPhone 8”, while the updated “iPhone 7s” and “7s Plus” models are expected to stick with LCD displays. The displays will most likely be manufactured by Samsung’s displays division.
OLED displays do not require a backlight, allowing for thinner displays with higher contrast compared with an LCD screen. While OLED displays have been available on mobile devices for several years, Apple has yet to make an iPhone that uses the display technology.
(Image via: 9to5mac)
February 28, 2017
Confirming earlier rumors, Samsung has officially set the launch date for the Galaxy S8 as March 29, 2017. The date was confirmed during Samsung’s Mobile World Congress event on Sunday in Barcelona. The new flagship phone will be unveiled at a launch event in New York City. The S8 will likely go on sale in mid-April, after a short preorder period.
Industry insiders, investors, and consumers will be closely watching the Galaxy S8 to see if it can bring Samsung the good press it needs to put last year’s Note 7 fiasco firmly in the past. In the meantime, Samsung is still being haunted by the disaster. During their MWC event, a Greenpeace activist stood up in front of the stage holding a sign demanding that Samsung appropriately recycle the millions of Note 7 devices it has recalled.
(Image via: Engadget)
February 23, 2017
The iPhone 8 may scan your face instead of using Touch ID, according to a JPMorgan analyst. The iPhone 8 – a premium device expected to release alongside the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus later this year – may incorporate a 3D laser scanner to authenticate user identity, instead of the fingerprint-based Touch ID. There is also a possibility that all three of 2017’s new iPhones may get the feature.
The analyst notes that facial recognition could be more convenient and reliable than Touch ID, leading to increased adoption of services like Apple Pay. The scanner could also be used to create more immersive augmented reality and virtual reality experiences. The 3D laser scanner will add up to $15 to the cost of the devices, which fits with previous reports claiming the iPhone 8 could retail for $1,000 or more.
(Image via: MacRumors)
February 16, 2017
The new iPhone models coming in 2017 may feature wireless charging technology. That is the latest prediction from high-profile KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. If true, the new feature can be expected on all iPhone 8 models, as well as the expected updates to the iPhone 7, which may or may not be called the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus.
Apple patents from late last year indicated that the company had been considering implementing the tech, which competitors such as Samsung and LG have already made available on their devices. The new charging tech may also contribute to an expected higher price for the new iPhone 8, which is rumored to cost over $1,000.
(Image via: The Next Web)
February 9, 2017
While negotiating with the Indian government to begin manufacturing operations in that country, Apple reportedly renewed a request for permission to sell used iPhones to Indian consumers. India had previously turned down this plan, citing quality concerns, but Apple is reportedly offering new assurances that the refurbished devices will meet quality standards.
Apple may be looking to the Indian market to make up for flagging growth in the West. The staring price of the iPhone 7 is much higher than that of the typical smartphone sold in India, so Apple hopes it can offer used devices at a more competitive price. 2016 was the company’s best year on record for iPhone sales in India.
(Image via: CNET)
February 2, 2017
According to a recent tip from a source in China, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 will feature a somewhat unusual screen resolution of 1440 x 2960, for an aspect ratio of 18.5:9. The rumored screen sizes for the Galaxy S8 and the unconfirmed Galaxy S8 Plus are 5.8 inches and 6.2 inches, respectively.
The Galaxy S8 family of phone are rumored to be announced on March 29, with the launch date rumored to be late April. You can find a full breakdown of the rumored specs of the Galaxy S8 at GSMArena.
(Image via: NDTV)
January 26, 2017
Samsung has said that its next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8, will not be unveiled at Mobile World Congress, Engadget reports. Mobile World Congress is the world’s largest mobile industry event, set to begin in Barcelona on Feb. 27 this year, and many had expected to see the new smartphone there. Samsung’s decision to delay debuting the device means that the S8 may not launch until much later in spring than is usual for a Galaxy “S” device.
The move may give Samsung’s opponents even more opportunity to gain ground after last year’s Note 7 disaster. Without a new flagship device to promote, Samsung will likely struggle to compete with the Google Pixel and Apple iPhone 7.
(Image via: AndroidHeadlines)
January 19, 2017
After the fiasco Samsung suffered with the Note 7’s battery fires, and the recent corruption charges faced by its CEO, expectations are high for Samsung’s next flagship phone release. The Galaxy S8 has to improve upon the successful S7, while also assuaging safety concerns and positioning itself as an attractive choice for iPhone users thinking of defecting from Apple. If the latest rumors summarized by Mashable turn out to be true, the South Korean smartphone giant may be on track to meet these expectations and bounce back from a bad 2016.
Some possible features we may see in the S8 include an upgrade to a 4K screen, ditching the physical home button and increasing screen size, and a new AI called “Bixby”.
(Image via: Mashable)