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Thursday, December 17, 2020
Tags News and Rumors

Tag: News and Rumors

Roku finally lands the HBO Max app

Roku is the most popular streaming platform in the US, but it still doesn’t make it immune to disputes. The company has been a holdout to bring HBO Max to its software. However, starting tomorrow, December 17, that will change as the app will finally be available to download.The move is just in time for the huge event of Warner Media releasing Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max simultaneously with theaters on Christmas day. HBO and Roku have reached an agreement to make sure Roku users are no longer left out in the cold. It also sets both companies up to enjoy the 2021 slate that Warner Media has in store of more direct to HBO Max blockbusters like The Suicide Squad, Dune, Matrix 4, and Space Jam: A New Legacy.This is a great move for consumers. Roku has over 40 million users that can now enjoy all the amazing content that HBO Max has to offer. With this new deal, you can also subscribe directly to HBO Max from your Roku device with Roku Pay.This is a huge win for HBO Max and Warner Media. For this new push to have major films directly to homes to be a success, they need subscribers. While they saw an early push the company estimates only around 12 million active users.That may seem like a lot until you tally that next to Netflix at 195 million and even new competitor Disney+ already building 90 million subscribers. Warner Media needs that 40-plus million Roku users to have any chance at real growth.Users who already have the HBO app installed will be automatically updated to the new HBO Max version. Those that don’t already have it on their devices can simply search and download starting tomorrow.

Phone Hub allows for a connection between Chrome OS and Android

Chrome OS’s Phone Hub was first discussed in August, when Google wanted to further the connection between Android and Chrome OS past just sending and receiving texts as part of their “Better Together” initiative.It appeared and disappeared very suddenly from Chrome OS Canary and Dev channels, but now it has reappeared in Chrome OS Canary. Now there is a revamped UI that makes connections more simple. There are also now individual cards to help set up notification sharing and how it will use both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.When you click on the Phone Hub Icon, you will see your phone’s model and battery life. Under that appears toggles to find the phone, silence it, or turn on a shared hotspot. Hopefully these options will expand further in the future.Phone Hub seems like a great response to integration between Windows and other devices(though most notably Samsung) through your phone and integration within Apple’s Ecosystem. 

Amazon’s cloud gaming service Luna now supports a limited number of Android phones

Yesterday, Luna announced via its Twitter page that several Android phones now have support to play games using the service. The list includes a selection of flagship phones from Google, OnePlus, and Samsung. Check below for the full list.Google Pixel 4 XL (Pixel 4 isn’t mentioned for some reason)Google Pixel 4aGoogle Pixel 4a 5GGoogle Pixel 5OnePlus 7/7 Pro/7 Pro 5GOnePlus 7T/7T Pro/7T Pro 5GOnePlus 8/8 ProOnePlus NordSamsung Galaxy S10/S10+Samsung Galaxy Note 10/10+Samsung Galaxy S20 5G/S20+ 5G/S20 Ultra 5GSamsung Galaxy Note 20To access Luna, you’ll need one of the supported phones running Android 9 or above, an active subscription to the service, and the Chrome browser. This is similar to how it works on iOS as well. Which begs the question, why is Luna limited to a specific set of flagship phones if all it requires is the Chrome browser?Most likely, Amazon is starting with a handful of phones that are popular and have been thoroughly tested on the service. We are sure to see the list of devices grow next year, the same way Google started with a limited number of Android phones and added additional ones at a later date. In fact, now you can enable support for most phones by turning on the experimental feature in the Stadia app.Hey @TheCodeB00K, as Raghu from Team Luna explains below, you won’t have to wait very long for Android support (or, like, at all). Play Luna with early access now: https://t.co/IU81kXZouU pic.twitter.com/aVDCbQcP64— Amazon Luna (@amazonluna) December 15, 2020Amazon announced its foray into cloud gaming on September 24, 2020, of this year. At this time, Luna is only available via an invitation after signing up for the early access program. Once you sign up, you’ll get a free 7-day trial, and at the end of it, you’ll be charged $5.99 per month. For that price, you get access to a selection of games on the Luna platform, and you can also subscribe to additional channels such as Ubisoft+ for $14.99/month to play games in its library.Alongside the launch of Luna, Amazon also released its very own controller made for the service. Similar to Google’s Stadia controller, the Luna controller connects directly to Amazon’s servers for low latency gameplay. However, it also works via Bluetooth and USB allowing you to use it outside of the Luna service. Something the Stadia controller doesn’t allow for.The Luna controller retails for $70 but can be picked up for $50 during the early-access program if you’ve received an invite. If you’re not sure about the service, then you can still play using a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One controller by connecting it to your PC or mobile device.

Google Meet adds Live Caption support for four additional languages

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way a lot of us work, go to school, and how we spend time with friends or family. While most of these used to happen in person, times have changed, and now you’re more likely to end up on a video call for at least one of these. For many, Zoom has been the go-to choice for video calls during the past year.However, Google and others have done their best to lure you over to competing platforms. Yesterday, we covered how the Signal messenger app now has end-to-end encrypted video group calling.Later that day–Google announced its video chat competitor Google Meet–now supports four additional languages for Live Caption including French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish. Previously, Live Captions were only available in English.For those not in the know, Live Caption is a feature from Google which displays captions in real-time while someone is speaking. Think of it as having subtitles in a movie or TV show, but for real life. With this feature, it enables meetings to be more inclusive for those who speak a different primary language, the deaf, and people with various degrees of hearing loss.To use Live Captions during your own Google Meet calls, tap on the three-dot menu in the lower right-hand corner, select captions, choose a language from the list, and tap apply. Each user in the video call will be able to choose the language option which best suits their needs.Right now non-English captions are currently available on the web in Asian Pacific, European, Middle Eastern, and African countries. They will be rolling out to North America and Latin America in early 2021. Support for mobile apps is also coming to Android and iOS in early 2021.

Netflix’s audio-only mode is coming to your phone

Did you ever wish you could just listen to your favorite Netflix movies and TV series? I’m sure it’s not a huge request from fans of the streaming service, but it could come in handy in some scenarios.For example, you could easily listen to many of the comedy specials without needing to see the video, or perhaps using it to listen to your favorite show as you drift off to sleep. It would certainly save some data and battery life that way.Whatever your reasons may be, Netflix is currently rolling out the option to listen to content by turning off the video portion. The feature was first spotted by the guys over at XDA-Developers in an app teardown earlier this year, and according to Android Police, Netflix has now begun pushing it out to end-users.The new audio-only option is rolling out in stages, and it may have not shown up for you yet. I know it hasn’t made it to my device as of this morning. With it being a server-side change, all you can do is make sure you have the latest version of the Netflix app and wait your turn.Once it does roll out to your device, you’ll notice a button during video playback that says “Video Off.” Tapping on it will do exactly as it says, turn off the video of the title you are watching while the audio continues playing. Tapping it again will turn the video back on.Source: Android PoliceAndroid Police also mentions they saw the new feature show up in the settings menu of the Netflix app. After tapping on the new Audio Only menu item it pops up a dialog box that allows you to choose from Always On, Headphones or External Speakers, and Off.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 might make Google Discover available to users

The other day, we reported on a leaked hands-on video of the Samsung Galaxy S21+.In watching the video, one Twitter user noticed that a right swipe on the home screen of the Galaxy S21 revealed the Google Discover Feed. Android Police was suspicious that this option would only be available on T-Mobile devices such as the unit shown in the video.However, their sources confirmed that Google Discover will be available on all Samsung Galaxy S21 units as an alternative to the Samsung options of Samsung Free and Samsung Daily. For a quick refresher, Samsung Free is a program containing games, news, and other streaming media that will be replacing Samsung Daily in some regions.To me, this availability of Google Discover is a step towards Samsung further allowing you to customize your phone in a fashion consistent with the whole premise of Android.

Google acquires Neverware

Neverware may not be a name you’re familiar with or its operating system CloudReady. The company has built a promising commercial product that installs the open-source version of Chrome OS to most modern PC hardware. Google must have taken notice and both entities have announced that Neverware is now a part of Google.So, a little backstory might help understand why Google has snatched up Neverware. Essentially, CloudReady takes the open-source underpinnings of Chrome OS called Chromium OS and packages it as an installation medium that can be used on most laptops and desktops. Think of a Windows install but running a Google-less version of Chrome OS.The caveats with CloudReady have been that you didn’t get Google’s admin console or Android apps via the Play Store. While Neverware built its own admin portal that’s pretty solid, the announcement from the CloudReady team states that the existing project will be updated to the official Chrome OS family and bring the admin and Play Store.Other notable details are that the current CloudReady customer base will continue their contracted support options. This includes updates, certified hardware support, and license purchases. Neverware asks for patience in the release of more details as the transition takes shape. The free Home Edition will also continue unchanged for now.This news may seem trivial to some, but I find this fascinating. Google has now purchased an established commercial product that has a closely related development codebase. The kicker? It’s installable to hardware schools and enterprise customers already own.Now Google can expand its foothold in education and corporate America by only selling you on services and software. If you don’t have the need, or funds, to upgrade to new Chrome OS hardware it’s not a problem. In theory, Google could come to demo the sleek, new Chrome OS on your hardware to show you that it works on what you have in-house.Google has already supplanted Windows in many schools. CloudReady with actual Chrome OS could be the next step in that evolution. The ease of use, seamless updates, and easy admin management have made Chromebooks a preferred option for many IT departments.Most of that is conjecture, but Google is definitely in the position to make all those scenarios happen. And I can’t imagine why else you’d make the investment? Either way, this an interesting development for both CloudReady and Chrome OS that we should keep an eye on moving forward.

Proscenic introduces M6 Pro and 850T Smart Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Today, Proscenic announced the availability of two different smart robot vacuums with mopping, the M6 Pro and 850T. Both vacuums support control with the remote control, the Proscenic Home APP or via Alexa/Google Home.Proscenic M6 ProThe Proscenic M6 Pro has 3 cleaning modes: vacuum, Y-shaped mopping, and vacuuming and mopping at the same time in addition to three levels of actio. The Y-shaped mopping enables a triple-pass mopping action.The M6 Pro creates a real-time map using Lidar navigation and 24 sensors. The iRoom cleaning system allows you to divide your house into specific cleaning regions and you can set both cleaning zones and no-go zones via the Proscenic Home app. The M6 Pro can save up to 5 maps in its memory.The M6 Pro features a 3200mAh battery that allows for up to 110 minutes of continuous cleaning. Once the battery is low, the vacuum will return to the charging station automatically and will go to the last cleaning position.The M6 Pro is available in the US from Amazon for $369 and Proscenic’s website for $429.Proscenic 850TThe Proscenic 850T works using the IPNAS 2.0 cleaning system that uses programmed patterns to reach every area. The 850T has three levels of suction and can increase suction power when it senses that it’s on a carpet. With a size of just 2.8 inches and large wheels, the 850T can go over carpets and door ledges as well as slide under furniture and into corners. You can mop and vacuum simultaneously with 4 cleaning modes: auto, spot, edge, and mopping.You can control the Proscenic 850T with the included remote control, the Proscenic Home app or through Alexa/Google Home.The 850T can clean for up to 2 hours per charge and will return to the base automatically for charging.You can buy the Proscenic 850T on Amazon UK for £229, on Amazon.com for $239 and on Proscenic’s Website for $259.

T-Mobile wishes to release droves of drones powered by 5G

T-Mobile has been developing drones since 2015, using them in their network for delivery services and infrastructure inspection. They have also been working with the Small UAV Coalition as well as being active in various FAA committees and programs concerning drone policy and technology.T-Mobile now sees 5G as a way to expand the use cases of drones, such as for emergency response. The Un-Carrier wants to put miniature cell sites on drones to enable line-of-sight and non-light-of-sight connectivity as well as give the ability to fly in temporary cellular connectivity.One company, Unmanned Life is developing autonomous drones to disinfect public places and deliver medical supplies. In the retail space, T-Mobile hopes to use drone delivery to expand contactless shopping.The Un-Carrier sees their expanding 5G network and low latency as a way to engender drone development and drone services and transform many facets of our society. One of these facets is sports. They are working with the Drone Racing League to use 5G to power their racing drones as part of T-Mobile Ventures, giving the DRL direct access to T-Mobile’s network and engineering expertise, as well as infrastructure and investment.You can read more about T-Mobile’s 5G goals here and how they are working with the Drone Racing League here.

Signal messaging app adds encrypted group video calls in time for the holidays

This year has seen a lot of changes to the way we used to do normal everyday things. Many workplaces have gone online-only, schools have gone back and forth between remote learning, and even celebrating a birthday or the holidays have gone online. Through all of this video conferencing calls have been a key way for us to spend time together while apart.To that end, the privacy-focused messenger Signal has just announced that it has added encrypted group video calls to its app. Like everything else with Signal the feature is 100% free and end-to-end encrypted ensuring everything you say and do is completely private.In the blog post, it details that group calls are only supported with the new style Signal groups, the call button won’t be available in legacy groups. However, your legacy groups will be updating to the new style group chat within the coming weeks.When you start an encrypted group video call on Signal it will split the screen into a grid giving you a view of all participants. If you’d rather put the focus on the person speaking, you can swipe up to switch the view and Signal will automatically switch showing a view of the person who is currently speaking.The only real downside, at the moment, is that Signal only supports group calls with up to five people at a time, but the team is working on expanding that to more users.Looks like you won’t be having any classes or big celebrations like weddings over Signal in the short term. However, if it’s just you and a few of your friends, Signal would be perfect for a completely private group chat. Given the privacy concerns which have arisen over Zoom, the 40 minute limit on group calls for free users, and the holidays swiftly approaching–this couldn’t have come at a better time.

Ubisoft Plus comes to Stadia with support for 15 games

Ubisoft+ has finally come to Stadia. The $14.99/month subscription service gives you access to over 100 games from the publisher on PC. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Stadia, where it only provides access to the 15 titles currently on the platform.That should come as no surprise, given the fact that if a game doesn’t exist on the platform, you naturally won’t be able to play it. Still, it’s kind of a bummer. Regardless, if you’re an Ubisoft+ subscriber, you can still have full access to the library on PC, and now you can use Stadia to play on your TV with supported hardware or on your mobile phone. A full list of the supported titles can be found below.Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – Stadia Ultimate EditionAssassin’s Creed Valhalla Ultimate EditionFamily FeudFar Cry New Dawn Deluxe EditionFar Cry 5 Ultimate EditionGhost Recon Wildlands Ultimate Stadia EditionImmortals: Fenyx Rising Gold EditionMonopolyThe Crew 2 – Gold EditionThe Division 2: Warlords of New York Ultimate EditionTom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint – Ultimate EditionTrials Rising – Digital Gold EditionUNO Ultimate EditionWatch Dogs 2: Ultimate EditionWatch Dogs Complete EditionWatch Dogs: LegionTo get started, link your Ubisoft+ account with your Stadia account. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Pro user or a free user, you’ll still be able to play Ubisoft+ titles with a free account at 1080p 30fps with stereo sound or at up to 4K HDR 60fps with 5.1 sound on Pro accounts.If the link is turning up an error page for you, like it is for me, that’s because support is still rolling out at the moment. As with all things Google, it is released in stages and we have to be patient for our turn.Ubisoft and Stadia have had a strong relationship since Google first started flirting with the idea of cloud gaming. In fact, the first game to get tested on the platform was Assassin’s Creed Odyssey from the French game publisher.Since that test, we’ve seen major Ubisoft titles land on Stadia with day one releases, and even exclusive demos like the one for Immortals Fenyx Rising, a game you can still play for free without a subscription on Stadia right now.For that reason, it seems shocking that it took so long for Ubisoft+ integration on the platform, especially when Amazon’s Luna cloud gaming service already has access. Whatever the case, at least it’s finally here, and if you’re an Ubisoft+ subscriber you can now enjoy 15 Ubisoft titles anywhere Stadia is supported.

Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 678 with improved performance and photography enhancements

If you geek out over Android like we do over here, then you’ve all probably heard of Qualcomm and its line of processors for flagship phones. For example, the Snapdragon 888 set to power high-end phones in 2021. However, Qualcomm also makes a range of processors to power phones at every level.Today, the chipset maker announced the brand new Snapdragon 678, a follow-up to the 675 with “upgraded performance, dynamic camera features, and enhanced streaming capabilities.”“Snapdragon 678 brings advanced mobile capabilities for daily entertainment at lightning-fast speeds over reliable connections and long-lasting battery life for consumers worldwide.”The Snapdragon 678 offers enhancements over the 675 with the Qualcomm Kryo 460 CPU core with a clock speed of up to 2.2GHz. The graphics processor has also been improved featuring the Qualcomm Adreno 612 GPU for faster rendering of graphics.This will allow for gamers to experience high framerates with fewer frame drops, and the 678 has been optimized for many popular game engines, including Unity, Messiah, NeoX, and Unreal Engine 4.Along with the increased horsepower, improvements to photography and videography have also been made. The Snapdragon 678 will be able to capture photos with triple-camera setups at up to 48MP with zero shutter lag. The third-gen Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence Engine will help with low-light photography, laser autofocus, and with taking portrait mode photos with bokeh.Lastly, the Snapdragon X12 LTE modem included on the 678 supports carrier aggregation with download speeds up to 600Mbps and uploads of up to 150Mbps. Plus, it has been “engineered to provide users fast connections, even in congested areas, so they can stream videos, download music, and enjoy accurate navigation and location in real-time.”What this all means for you is better performance in midrange phones for 2020. Last year, we saw several popular brands use the Snapdragon 675 such as Vivo, Xiaomi, and Samsung. In 2021, we can expect to see Samsung’s more affordable A-series of phones adopt the 678 to offer good performance on a budget.

FCC moves to remove Huawei and ZTE equipment from comms networks

In The United States, Huawei and ZTE are designated as national security threats by the FCC, possibly due to subverting sanctions.The sanctions from about a year ago tried to stop Huawei and ZTE technology from entering United States communications networks, and now they are attempting to remove already present technologies, in a move so lovingly called “rip and replace” by Commissioner Ajit Pai.Today the Commission adopted rules to implement the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019, further advancing the safety of the U.S. communications supply chain. Details here: https://t.co/YLdkMoWSPK #FCCGov— The FCC (@FCC) December 10, 2020The FCC has moved to publish a list of communications equipment and services that are said to be national security risks as determined by a variety of United States government agencies in addition to asking Congress to appropriate around $1.6 billion for the Secure and Trusted Communications Network Reimbursement Program, which will help offset the costs of replacing these pieces of equipment and services for small providers of communications services. Certain carriers, or eligible telecommunications carriers to remove funded equipment and replace it with equipment from trusted vendors.

Oppo introduces sliding phone concept and TWS earbud ecosystem

In collaboration with nendo, Oppo has released a new design concept for a “slide-phone”. This presents an interesting alternative to foldables. About the size of a credit card when folded up, the slide phone is meant to allow users to interact with their phones in the ways they wanted.Today, we’re showcasing two new design concepts produced in collaboration with leading Japanese design studio, nendo.First, is the ‘slide-phone’, which features a triple-hinge foldable screen system. #OPPOxnendo pic.twitter.com/r6YNrc2EmP— OPPO (@oppo) December 14, 2020Sliding the first fold up lets you interact with your call history, notifications and music players quickly and easily. The second fold reveals a 3.15-inch screen that might be good for taking photos with the phone’s four cameras or playing quick games. Folding out the full seven-inch phone reveals an inbuilt stylus.In addition to this, Oppo revealed another design called “music-link” centered around a pair of TWS earbuds, including a smartwatch, speaker, portable charger and a wireless charger. You can read more about these concepts on Oppo’s website, but keep in mind these are concepts and not likely to be realized any time soon.

Update brings Zoom to the Nest Hub Max

Google promised that it was working on adding Zoom calls to the Nest Hub Max earlier this year. Well, just in time for the holidays, this new feature is now coming in the form of an update. Afterward, you’ll be able to use the previously absent video chat service.There are a couple of steps you want to make sure you have in order before Zoom is ready on your Nest Hub Max. First, you will need to opt into the Google Home preview program. This will give you access to the bleeding edge software Mountain View has in the works for the Nest Hub Max and Google Home.This can be found by going to the Google Home app Settings. Then find Device settings and choose Preview Program. You can choose to receive email updates and then Join Program.Next, you need to head back to Settings in the Google Home app and link your Zoom account. This will be under Services and Voice and Video calls. Under that menu, you should find Video & Voice apps. Here you can select Zoom from the available partner apps.That’s pretty much it. After all the backend setup has taken place, you can then evoke the Zoom calling by simply saying “Hey Google, start a Zoom call.” You can also start them directly from the Calendar app if you’ve been sent a Zoom invite via email and accepted the meeting.This new update brings the Google Nest Hub Max back to parody to Amazon’s Echo Show and Facebook’s Portal. Both received similar updates earlier this year. This is great for end-users regardless. Zoom has become a dominant force in video calls over the pandemic and seeing Google join the fray for smart displays is a welcome addition.One final note is this is currently exclusive to just the Nest Hub Max. Google’s partnered displays from LG, Lenovo, and JBL were not mentioned in this bit of news surrounding this Zoom update.

5G Under The Tree with T-Mobile: Expansion and deals from the Un-carrier

As the year comes to a close, T-Mobile has released some news on their 5G rollout and some deals for your holiday season.5G RolloutT-Mobile launched their 5G network just over a year ago, and they have been working hard on expansion since then. Now, the Un-Carrier is rapidly expanding 5G in December, rolling out mid-band Ultra Capacity 5G speeds to thousands of locales.To take advantage of this 5G expansion, T-Mobile has launched a Hotspot Data Plan with 5G access, offering 100 gigabytes of hotspot data for just $50. If you don’t need that much data, you can get 5 gigabytes for $20, 10 gigabytes for $30, or 30 gigabytes for $40.To pair with this plan, T-Mobile has launched the Inseego 5G MiFi M2000. The 5G MiFi M2000 has access to T-Mobile’s Extended Range and Ultra Capacity 5G network and 4G LTE if 5G is unavailable, with a battery that lasts over a day and a 30-device capacity. This device has a retail price of $336, but you can get it right now for $168 if you add or activate a line.You can buy the Inseego 5G MiFi M2000 at T-Mobile right now.Holiday DealsIf you’re looking to upgrade as the year comes to a close, here are some phone offers from T-Mobile available right now at a T-Mobile location or through the website. (it is important to note that these deals work through 24 monthly bill credits):Get a OnePlus 8T + 5G or OnePlus 8 5G for free when purchasing with T-Mobile’s Equipment Installment Plan and either activating a new line or trading in an eligible deviceGet $500 off a variety of Samsung Galaxy phones when making an eligible trade-in and purchasing with the Equipment Installment PlanIf you are switching to T-Mobile, get a Samsung Galaxy A71 5G for free when you purchase it on an Equipment Installment PlanIf you’re looking for tablets, check out these deals:Save $300 on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 5G or S7+ 5G when adding a new line and purchasing on the Equipment Installment Plan via 24 monthly bill creditsGet a free Samsung Galaxy Tab A when purchased with an Equipment Installment Plan on a new lineSome others:Get a Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 for $49 with the addition of a qualifying line when purchasing on the Equipment Installment PlanGet the T-Mobile TVision HUB, an Android-powered HDMI streaming device with all popular streaming apps available in addition to T-Mobile’s TVision streaming serviceWith Metro by T-Mobile, new users can get no switching fees and an unlimited plan for $25 a month for four lines, with four free Samsung Galaxy A21 phones to go with that new plan. Visit a Metro location or the Metro site for more details.

Hands-on video footage of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus leaks out

Samsung is set to launch its new Galaxy S21 lineup of phones on January 14, 2020. However, it appears that most of us can’t wait for next year, because new details keep leaking out and we’re eating it up.We’ve already seen renders of the new devices, and last week official teaser videos from Samsung leaked out. Now, we’re getting our first real-life hands-on video look at Samsung’s latest flagship device.In a video posted to YouTube by Random Stuff 2, we get a good look at the front and the back of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S21+. There’s nothing new to learn about the design that we haven’t seen from the previous renders and teaser videos, but it does help confirm a lot of details.For instance, we are getting our real look at the unique camera bump which will define the design of the new Galaxy S21 phones. Along with a quick look at the back, we also get to see the minuscule bezels on the front around the display and the center hole-punch selfie camera.You probably noticed the tape masking off certain areas of the device, it’s pretty hard to miss. The device being shown off is most likely a prototype and the masked off areas are to hide identifying markers or serial numbers that could be used to trace its origins.One last little tidbit shown off in the video is the Geekbench Score, with the S21+ turning in a single-core result of 1115 and 3326 for the multi-core score. For reference, the Samsung Galaxy S20+ only scored 830 in the single-core benchmark and 3087 in the multi-core test. That’s a healthy little bump in performance from the new Snapdragon 888 which is expected to power the new devices.There will also be an Exynos powered variant of the Galaxy S21 series of phones, but the model number shown in the Geekbench results appears to be from the Snapdragon-powered model. The model number also seems to point to this being the Samsung Galaxy S21+, even though the narrator calls it the Galaxy S21 in the video.That’s about all we can make out from the video, but the user has also posted a photo comparison between the S21+ and iPhone 12 Pro. However, comparing photos on YouTube videos isn’t all that effective, and it’s even less so when viewing footage of the photos on two different displays like he’s done in this video. We’ll have to wait for some proper photo samples where we can pixel peep before making any judgment.On January 14, 2021, we’re expecting Samsung to launch three different models, including the Galaxy S21 5G, Galaxy S21+ 5G, and Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G. Rumors have also pointed to the S21 Ultra having support for the S Pen, along with Samsung retiring the Note series.

Gmail, YouTube, Google Calendar, and more interrupted by an outage this morning

Looks like we weren’t the only ones hitting the snooze button this morning. Several Google sites and services such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, YouTube, and many more went down worldwide right before 7 AM ET this Monday morning. It didn’t take long for users to vent their frustrations when #YouTubeDOWN began trending on Twitter within minutes of the popular video-sharing site going down.The issue was acknowledged by Google and has since been resolved with service being restored for the “vast majority of affected users” at 7:52 AM ET. However, Google hasn’t yet revealed the cause of the issue. Currently, a look at the Google Workspace Status Dashboard shows everything lit up in green. That’s a far cry from how it looked earlier this morning with every service lit up in red.If you’re lucky, you slept through the entire thing. However, I was not so lucky, and was greeted with error messages when first trying to load Gmail this morning. Many other users also reported having troubles with controlling their smart homes showing that Google Assistant was also affected.One bright spot seemed to be that Google Search continued functioning throughout this outage. Also, YouTube continued working for users who signed out of their accounts or used incognito mode. Making it look like the main issue had something to do with Google login services.Third-party services that rely on Google were also affected, such as Pokémon Go as shown by Downdetector. Don’t worry, it’s back online with everything else, now you can get back to catching them all.The recent outage illustrates just how dependent many of us are on Google, myself included. When you can’t access your calendar, email, work documents, or even control the lights in your home; it can feel a bit paralyzing. Fortunately, this outage only lasted for an hour, but it’s a good lesson to always have a backup and to never rely fully on “the cloud”.

Todoist for Google Assistant redesigned for more ease-of-use

Todoist is one of the most popular To-do list apps, and today it’s getting even more powerful. Now, you can more easily talk to it on your Google Assistant device with two simple phrases, “Hey Google, Let me talk to Todoist” and “Hey Google, ask Todoist…”.You can use Todoist for Google Assistant to:Add tasks on the goView tasksMark off TasksFind out what you have due todayFind out what’s left in your projectFind out what’s due on a day in the futureAdd tasks with the full detailsHere’s an example of the complex tasks you can add, view and complete with Todoist for Google Assistant:Task: “Submit My Report” due tomorrow in your Work project with a priority of 1 and the Urgent labelWhat you say to Google Assistant: “Add a task to Submit my report tomorrow p1 hashtag work at-sign urgent”To connect with Google Assistant, simply ask Google Assistant “Let me talk to Todoist.” and link your account. Currently, this is only available in English. You can learn more about how this works here.

OnePlus 9 5G hands-on photos and specs leak

Earlier today we covered the hands-on leak of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S21+. Not looking to get left out of the conversation, we’re now seeing a hands-on leak of the new OnePlus 9 5G expected to launch next year as well.The leak comes to us from PhoneArena containing several live images of the device and includes some additional specifications. The most striking revelation is the new camera bump on the back, featuring two large protruding lenses and a third smaller lens.The new layout is reminiscent of phones we’ve seen come from OnePlus’s sister company Oppo recently. No surprise there, OnePlus phones often share a similar design and specs to Oppo phones. The design is also oddly similar to what Apple does with its iPhones using metal rings around the lenses of the cameras.Also visible is the “Ultra Shot” branding which could be the OnePlus version of Oppo’s “Ultra Steady” technology. Speaking of branding on the back of the phone, I’m sure you noticed the logo doesn’t match what is typically on OnePlus phones. That’s because this is a prototype unit and OnePlus doesn’t use its official logo on pre-production devices like this.There’s not much to see on the front side of the phone. OnePlus is once again using a flat display with a cut-out for the front-facing camera in the same spot as the OnePlus 8T. In fact, from the front, you’d be hard-pressed to tell these two phones apart from one another. The only other juicy tidbit we gleaned from all the photos of the device is that it will use a metal frame, and there is a rubber seal around the SIM card tray. We reported earlier that the OnePlus 9 is unlikely to carry an official IP rating, but this seal tells us that there will at least be some water resistance, even if it’s not officially rated.Beyond the photos of the hardware, PhoneArena also has screenshots taken from the OnePlus 9 confirming some key specs. For example, the codename of the chipset is Lahaina, also known as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. Along with the processor, we also learned this model will feature 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and will run Android 11 out of the box.The OnePlus 9 5G will also include a large 4,500mAh battery, which is good news because PhoneArena also confirmed that it will use a 6.55-inch 2400 x 1080 120Hz display with support for HDR.The only specs left up in the air right now revolve around the cameras. According to speculation, PhoneArena suspects the main camera on the back will be a 48MP shooter and the front-facing camera will use a 16MP sensor.That’s all the information we have about the OnePlus 9 5G for now. At this point, there isn’t much else to learn about the device. We’re still waiting for more to leak out about the OnePlus 9 Pro and what is expected to be the cheapest of the trio, the OnePlus 9E.All three of the phones are set to launch early next year in March instead of the usual May release date. It appears OnePlus has moved up the launch date just like Samsung did with its event next year.

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Just $49, this 66 hour training preps you for Cisco CCNA and CCNP exams

Cisco is the world leader in networking technology and hardware and it shows no signs of slowing. According to a 2019 Global Knowledge report, one-third of North American IT pros say Cisco CCNA tech will be a key ingredient in their organization this year.With salary figures routinely at $100,000 and above, Cisco-certified personnel are highly coveted and in demand. Right now, you can get on the path to join that elite-level of IT administration with the Complete 2021 Cisco Enterprise Certification Training Bundle, just $49.Spread over more than 66 hours, this online training features 225 lessons to ready you for CCNA & CCNP certification exams. Designed for those with a little bit of background on Cisco, it’s available 24/7 and through both desktop and mobile.FeaturesWork Towards a Top Cisco Certification & Build a Rewarding Career as a Network AdministratorImplement & Troubleshoot for Advanced Routing Technologies and ServicesDesign Network Architecture for Cisco Enterprise NetworksGain the Core Knowledge & Skillset You Need to Be Successful in Implementing Technologies While Working in an Enterprise Network EnvironmentOnce you’re through the training you’ll get a certificate that you can use for negotiating a pay raise. More importantly, you will be ready to sit for the CCNA 200-301 certification exam. And that could lead to an entirely different position or career.AvailabilityValue at well over a thousand dollars, you can purchase the Complete 2021 Cisco Enterprise Certification Training Bundle in the AndroidGuys Deals Store for just $49 right now. Hurry, though, the price drop won’t last forever!Best SellersEarn Credits!For every $25 you spend in the AG Deals Store you get $1 credit added to your account. And, if you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.First Time Buying?If this is your first time buying, you are also eligible for 10% discount! Just be sure to subscribe for email updates.Free StuffNot looking to spend any money today? No worries. You can still visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and pick something anyhow.

Best website for finding coupons and online deals

Widilo is a new service in the UK which is expected to launch soon. It is one of the most rewarding cashback and coupon code sites and offers a variety of services to its clients. Widilo offers a lot of services that would interest a large category of people include androidguys.com audience. Are you a lover of online shopping and are looking for ways to make discounts on your shopping? Widilo is the best platform to join. The platform offers rewards to online shoppers, such as cash backs and promotional codes that they can use at their favorite online shops. Not only does Widilo offers those rewards for online shoppers, but you can also build up reward points after some time.Categories and shops which offer discountTo enjoy the various categories that offer discounts on Widilo, you need to join the site. Joining is free, straight forward, and takes less than a minute. To get the most out of this site, you need to shop online as usual, from the numerous retailers. Various links are available, those that will lead you to retailers. Once you shop online, you earn cashback and discounts that you can withdraw to your bank account. Some of the platforms you can enjoy cash backs plus discount codes include Acer, Adidas, Amazon, ASOS, Booking.com, Deliveroo, Dell, Desigual, e-Bay, E-buyer, EE Mobil, Europcar, Expedia, and FoodSpring. Other deals include shops and online shopping sites such as Foot Locker, Groupon, Hotes.com, HP, LOOKFANTASTIC, Lovehoney, Made.com, Morrisons, Myprotein, Nike, Tesco, The protein Works, Three, Topshop, Under Armour, Vistaprint, Volcom, and Zipcar.One of the aims of the Widilo site is to assist you in saving money all year round through online shopping. When you activate cash backs on this site, you get to earn points. The points are earned through the Currys discount code that gives you a certain percentage off the product you purchase. Visit Widilo site to Get the best Currys PC World discount codes , to enjoy cash back. The more you shop online, the higher the rewards. The points you accumulate after shopping online are based on tiers, which reflect how much cashback you have earned on the site. The site is frequently on the lookout for upcoming suppliers and new brands in the market to ensure that you enjoy variety during your shopping experience. Aside from saving money through cash backs or with promo codes, you get to discover new brands that you might have never heard of in the past.How do you ensure that you never miss out on cashback and discount codes?Widilo site has over a thousand shops, meaning that you have access to thousands of deals and brands. To ensure that you never miss out on cashback and discount codes, enter Widilo’s toolbar extension, the Widilo’s cash reminder. The tool will alert you of the incoming cashback options to consider and make the cashback option active when you make an online purchase at the site with just a single click. Missing out on deals and cashback can be frustrating, but the site is keen to send numerous reminders. The cashback reminder option is easy and quick to set up. You only need to head over to the Widilo website, download the toolbar extension near the search engine, and that’s it. The reminder is free. What better site to join other than Widilo?EDITOR NOTE: This is a promoted post and should not be viewed as an editorial endorsement.

Roku finally lands the HBO Max app

Roku is the most popular streaming platform in the US, but it still doesn’t make it immune to disputes. The company has been a holdout to bring HBO Max to its software. However, starting tomorrow, December 17, that will change as the app will finally be available to download.The move is just in time for the huge event of Warner Media releasing Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max simultaneously with theaters on Christmas day. HBO and Roku have reached an agreement to make sure Roku users are no longer left out in the cold. It also sets both companies up to enjoy the 2021 slate that Warner Media has in store of more direct to HBO Max blockbusters like The Suicide Squad, Dune, Matrix 4, and Space Jam: A New Legacy.This is a great move for consumers. Roku has over 40 million users that can now enjoy all the amazing content that HBO Max has to offer. With this new deal, you can also subscribe directly to HBO Max from your Roku device with Roku Pay.This is a huge win for HBO Max and Warner Media. For this new push to have major films directly to homes to be a success, they need subscribers. While they saw an early push the company estimates only around 12 million active users.That may seem like a lot until you tally that next to Netflix at 195 million and even new competitor Disney+ already building 90 million subscribers. Warner Media needs that 40-plus million Roku users to have any chance at real growth.Users who already have the HBO app installed will be automatically updated to the new HBO Max version. Those that don’t already have it on their devices can simply search and download starting tomorrow.

Phone Hub allows for a connection between Chrome OS and Android

Chrome OS’s Phone Hub was first discussed in August, when Google wanted to further the connection between Android and Chrome OS past just sending and receiving texts as part of their “Better Together” initiative.It appeared and disappeared very suddenly from Chrome OS Canary and Dev channels, but now it has reappeared in Chrome OS Canary. Now there is a revamped UI that makes connections more simple. There are also now individual cards to help set up notification sharing and how it will use both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.When you click on the Phone Hub Icon, you will see your phone’s model and battery life. Under that appears toggles to find the phone, silence it, or turn on a shared hotspot. Hopefully these options will expand further in the future.Phone Hub seems like a great response to integration between Windows and other devices(though most notably Samsung) through your phone and integration within Apple’s Ecosystem.