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Turner Broadcasting To Create Shows Exclusively For Snapchat

December 9, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

snapchat-150x150Turner Broadcasting System Inc will develop additional video content for mobile app Snapchat and team up with the social media company on advertising, Turner announced, as they expand a partnership to broaden their reach among millennials.

TV networks of the Time Warner Inc unit, including TBS and Adult Swim, will create original series exclusively for the unit of Snap, Inc, the broadcaster said in a statement.

The companies also renewed their March agreement for Snapchat to create Live Stories, collections of user-submitted photos and videos centered around a specific event, with sports shows from Turner. The shows include the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAAA) Division I Men’s Basketball Championship and the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Championship.

Turner will lead sales efforts for Live Stories and shows, while Snapchat will take the lead for sponsorships on the Discovery channels.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Turner formed the partnership with Snap in 2015, and forged links with other digital media companies, to court younger viewers who prefer mobile gadgets to television. Turner said its networks reach more than 75 percent of millennials each month, the same audience that Snapchat targets.

The partnership began with the launch of Snapchat’s Discover feature which allows companies to offer and manage their own content. The original channels included Turner’s CNN and Bleacher Report, a San Francisco-based sports news website.

Bleacher Report, which had been available worldwide except in the United States, France and Australia, will launch a U.S. Discovery channel on Jan. 4. CNN will increase its content on Discovery.

Snap has partnered with multiple traditional U.S. media companies, including Viacom Inc and Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal, as it prepares to go public early next year.

This year Turner has also invested in digital media companies Mashable and Refinery29, and launched a digital video startup within CNN called Great Big Story.

Researcher Prove iOS Activation Lock Can Be Bypassed

December 5, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

ios-screen-lock-150x150Two researchers report that they have discovered a way to bypass the activation lock feature in iOS that’s supposed to prevent anyone from using an iPhone or iPad marked as lost by its owner.

The first report came Sunday from an Indian security researcher named Hemanth Joseph, who started investigating possible bypasses after being confronted with a locked iPad he acquired from eBay.

The activation lock gets enabled automatically when users turn on the Find My iPhone feature via iCloud. It links the device to their Apple IDs and prevents anyone else from accessing the device without entering the associated password.

One of the few things allowed from the activation lock screen is connecting the device to a Wi-Fi network, including manually configuring one. Hemanth had the idea of trying to crash the service that enforces the lock screen by entering very long strings of characters in the WPA2-Enterprise username and password fields.

The researcher claims that, after awhile, the screen froze, and he used the iPad smart cover sold by Apple to put the tablet to sleep and then reopen it. This is supposed to restore the state of the tablet from where it was left off, in this case, loading the WPA2 screen again with the long strings of characters filled in.

“After 20-25 seconds the Add Wifi Connection screen crashed to the iPad home screen, thereby bypassing the so-called Find My iPhone Activation Lock,” he said in a blog post.

Hemanth said he reported the issue to Apple on Nov. 4, and the company is investigating it. He tested the bypass on iOS 10.1, which was released on Oct. 24.

Last week, a researcher named Benjamin Kunz Mejri, from German outfit Vulnerability Lab, posted a video showing the same bypass, but on the newer iOS 10.1.1 version.

Kunz Mejri’s method is similar and also involves overflowing the Add Wi-Fi form fields with long strings of characters but also requires rotating the tablet’s screen in order to trigger the crash after the smart cover trick.

Apple has not yet confirmed that issue and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Is There A Need For A Mobile Netflix?

December 2, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

hatchA former Rovio exec has formed a new firm that hopes to revolutionize the way mobile games are played with Hatch, a new cloud-based streaming platform for smartphones.

Unveiled during this week’s Slush Festival in Finland, the venture is headed up by CEO Juhani Honkala, previously SVP of Rovio Entertainment, and centers around an instant game collection that players will be able to access without the need for downloads, installations or updates.

The service is planned for soft launch on Android in 2017, with iOS and other platforms to follow. There will be around 100 games available at launch, with Honkala promising Slush attendees that users can “start playing any game as easily as watching a movie on Netflix”. The cloud-based server technology has been run in partnership with Huawei Technologies.

Major partners already on board range from Bandai Namco, Taito and Ubisoft to notable independent developers such as Ustwo Games and Double Fine Productions. Titles already on the way will include Badland, Broken Age, Cut The Rope 2, Leo’s Fortune, Monument Valley, Pac-Man CE DX, Rayman Fiesta Run, République, Space Invaders Infinity Gene and more.

“I’d like to invite you all to be part of this journey,” Honkala said, addressing the developers in the audience, before giving an overview of Hatch’s new business model.

Honkala’s firm will handle the monetization of games on Hatch so developers can focus on the creation process without having to think about how to get users spending. Games will be monetized with “integrated, unobtrusive advertising and brand storytelling, as well as optional paid subscription that unlocks additional features and content”, according to the official release. There will be no in-app purchases, with Hatch’s library focusing on “full-featured, premium experiences”.

The service will also eventually feature exclusive games known as Hatch Originals, for which Honkala and his team are currently seeking investors.

The CEO pointed to how Spotify and Netflix has changed how people enjoy music and movies respectively, as well as how the rise of YouTube, Instagram and easily-shared content has “created a completely new generation of superstars”.

“There hasn’t been that kind of disruption in the mobile gaming industry,” he said. “We are playing mobile games exactly the same way as we used to play them five years ago. There has been no real innovation.”

In addition to its role as a games-streaming platform, Hatch’s built-in social functionality is designed to get more players connecting. Users will be able to rewind their gameplay and select video clips that can instantly be shared via Hatch or more established social media platforms.

There will also be multiplayer capabilities, and not just in the way you might expect. Recalling his childhood of playing single-player games together with friends and family, Honkala said Hatch will allow users to work together on titles such as Cut The Rope – even if they’re in different locations. Connected players will be able to share the game’s controls and chat about their next move or strategy.

“It’s not only about gaming,” he said. “It’s a new way to spend quality time with the people you love.”

He added: “The mobile has become the major gaming platform on the planet and mobile games bring joy to millions and millions of people around the world. But somehow I feel something very important got lost in the process.

“The numbers show that yes, we are playing more than ever but we are not really communicating, we are not sharing and we are not really playing together any more. When was the last time you really played together with your friends and family?”

The introduction of Netflix-style subscriptions is one experts have been predicting, with App Annie’s CMO Al Campa recently telling he expects to see the model break into the mobile games space soon. While game-streaming has previously been tried – most notably in the form of troubled service OnLive and Sony’s PlayStation Now – the complexities and high production of console-style titles has made it difficult for this concept to take off. The relative simplicity, at least in terms of file size and so on, of mobile games means Hatch could stand a good chance of delivering the cloud-based service the industry has been striving for over the past five years.

Facebook Adds Popular Games To Messenger App

December 1, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

fb-messenger-app-150x150For users who enjoy the popular Facebook Messenger app, it’s game time.

The social network has rolled out a feature that allows users to play hugely popular games such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders, the company’s latest attempt to get users spend more time on its messaging app.

The new feature, initially rolled out in 30 countries with 17 games, will be available on the latest versions of iOS and Android operating systems.

A user, in the midst of a conversation, can tap on a game controller icon to choose a game and start playing. The feature also allows user to challenge their friends for a game.

Facebook made Messenger a standalone app in 2014, a move that initially irked many users. The app, however, gained popularity after the company added a host of features to it.

The social network has also added instant video and payment facilities to the app.

Facebook boasts of having more than one billion users for its messaging app, making it one top three apps in the world.

Its main Facebook app is the most popular, followed by Messenger and WhatsApp, the messaging service it bought in 2014.

Intel Makes A Score With Delphi Automotive

December 1, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

Intel has signed a deal with Auto parts maker Delphi Automotive Plc and Israeli technology firm Mobileye.

The move will put Intel chips under the bonnet of their joint effort to produce self-driving vehicles by 2019.

Intel is also working with German luxury car maker BMW AG and Mobileye on self-driving technology. However so far, the chip maker has not made much of a dent in the autonomous vehicle market.

Glen De Vos, Delphi’s vice president of engineering announced that Intel will provide a “system on chip” for autonomous vehicle systems that Delphi and Mobileye are developing together.

UK-based Delphi is talking with established automakers and new or niche vehicle companies, such as manufacturers of commercial vehicles, interested in automating vehicles, De Vos said.

The system Delphi and Mobileye are developing would likely come to market first in a commercial vehicle operating in a limited area, such as an airport shuttle or a ride-hailing service, DeVos said.

Delphi is testing its autonomous driving technology in vehicles in Singapore. By the end of this year, Delphi hopes to choose a city in the United States to launch a test fleet of self-driving cars during 2017, De Vos said. The company is also looking for test site in a European city.


Researchers Working On App To Prevent Death During Dangerous Selfies

November 29, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

dangerous-selfie-150x150Researchers are attempting to design an app that could prevent people from being killed while taking dangerous selfies.

Carnegie Mellon University announced that researchers there are working with colleagues at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology in Delhi, India to take on the issue of deadly selfies.

People around the globe have been putting themselves in reckless situations – on railroad tracks, on cliff edges — to grab a memorable selfie. Researchers found that individuals died falling from high places, while the most group deaths happened around water, with some dying in capsized boats.

“In India, a number of deaths occurred when friends or lovers posed on railroad tracks, which is widely regarded as a symbol of long-term commitment in that culture,” Carnegie Mellon reported. “Gun-related deaths in selfies occurred only in the U.S. and Russia. Road- and vehicle-related selfies and animal-related selfies also were associated with deaths.”

“In India, a number of deaths occurred when friends or lovers posed on railroad tracks, which is widely regarded as a symbol of long-term commitment in that culture,” Carnegie Mellon reported. “Gun-related deaths in selfies occurred only in the U.S. and Russia. Road- and vehicle-related selfies and animal-related selfies also were associated with deaths.”

According to Carnegie Mellon, the system was able to tell the difference between a dangerous selfie and one that is not risky 73% of the time.

That technology will be critical to developing an app that could be used to decrease the number of selfie deaths.

An app, which has not yet been developed, could be designed to warn a user or even disable the phone if a selfie is being taken in a dangerous situation. The problem, though, is that some people might use a warning as bragging rights that they’re brave enough to put themselves in a dangerous situation.

“There can be no app for stupidity,” Hemank Lamba, a Ph.D. student in Carnegie Mellon’s Institute for Software Research, said in a statement.

The app also could be used to pinpoint areas where people are routinely taking dangerous selfies so they could be marked as “no selfie” zones.

Carnegie Mellon also noted that an app could be used for augmented reality games, like Pokemon Go, to keep users from putting themselves in risky situations while playing.


Samsung Goes IronWolf

November 25, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

Following the launch of the consumer-class IronWolf and SkyHawk HDDs earlier, Seagate has now launched its IronWolf Pro series for small and medium enterprises, including the 10TB version as the flagship offer.

After cramming the 2.5-inch 5TB BarraCuda HDD inside an aluminum enclosure, Seagate has moved to the enterprise market, announcing its newest IronWolf Pro 10TB HDD for “small-to-midsize enterprises”.

Designed for NAS applications and built to help small-to-midsize enterprises better manage the massive amounts of data, the IronWolf Pro HDD series can handle extreme workload rates of up to 300TB, fast access and comes standard with a two-year Seagate Rescue Data Recovery Service Plan.

According to Seagate, the NAS market is expanding at an impressive rate and is expected to reach US $7 billion in 2017, and with NAS-oriented features like AgileArray, which enhances performance for file-sharing, backup and private cloud environments, drive balancing by using dual-plane balance and rotational vibration sensors, RAID optimization for increased performance and advanced power management, the IronWolf Pro series should be the best choice.

Both QNAP and Synology, the biggest names in the NAS industry, have expressed their excitement with the Seagate IronWolf Pro series.

The  Seagate IronWolf Pro series will be available in 2TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB and 10TB capacities, are based on standard 3.5-inch form-factor, use SATA 6Gbps interface, spin at 7200RPM, pack 256MB of cache (128MB for 2TB and 4TB versions), have a MTBF of 1.2M hours, feature Rotational Vibration (VR) sensors, have both hot-plug and support for 16-bay NAS and are backed by a 5-year warranty.

Performance-wise, Seagate claims these offer maximum sustained transfer rate of 214MB/s (195MB/s for 2TB version) and average latency of 4.16ms as well as have a reliability rating at 24/7 operation (AFR) of 0.73 percent.

Unfortunately, Seagate did not provide any details regarding prices but it is only a matter of time before we see these bundled with some high-end NAS devices from QNAP and Synology.


Is EA Skeptical On Nintendo’s Switch?

November 21, 2016 by  
Filed under Gaming

EA CFO Blake Jorgensen says he ‘can’t yet predict’ if people will be interested in Switch alongside their regular portable device.

His statement came at the UBS Global Technology Conference, and reported by GameSpot. He says the firm is excited about the product and committed to bringing ‘one or two’ of its biggest games IP to the platform. Based on EA’s history with Nintendo, these will likely be games from its sports catalog.

“We’re excited for Nintendo, it’s an interesting device,” Jorgensen stated. “But I can’t yet predict how broad it’s going to be, and if folk will be interested in a portable device alongside their regular portable device that they already have.”

He continued: “In their announcement they announced that we’ll be supporting with a game or two on that new platform. We haven’t yet announced what game, but you should assume that it’s one of our bigger games we’ve been involved with.”

It is clearly positive for Nintendo that EA is showing support for its next machine after it abandoned publishing efforts on Wii U shortly after the machine launched. The company’s Wii U line-up included ports of Need for Speed and Mass Effect 3.

Nintendo proudly boasted a strong Switch third-party line-up, with the likes of Activision, Capcom, Warner Bros, Sega, Take-Two, Codemasters, Konami, From Software, Square Enix, Ubisoft, Bethesda, Bandai Namco, Platinum, Level-5, GameTrust and Atlas already signed on to support the device.

If Nintendo hopes to maintain this level of third-party support, it will need a significantly stronger start for Switch than it achieved with its Wii U console. It’s not clear what the launch line-up for Switch will be, with reports suggesting that the highly anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will miss the console’s release window. Other games shown during Nintendo’s Switch reveal, although not confirmed titles, included Mario Kart, a new Mario platformer, Skyrim and Splatoon.

More details on the Switch launch is scheduled for January, with the machine due to launch in March.

Facebook Acquires FacioMetrics

November 18, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

fb-logo-3-150x150Facebook has purchased FacioMetrics, a facial image analysis company, as it attempts to give users new features to add special effects to photos and videos.

The technology developed by the startup also includes capabilities for face tracking and recognizing emotions, which could potentially open up other applications for Facebook.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Facebook will discontinue the products, which are no longer available on app stores. The FacioMetrics website only has a message about the acquisition.

“How people share and communicate is changing and things like masks and other effects allow people to express themselves in fun and creative ways,” a Facebook spokesman wrote in an email Wednesday. “We’re excited to welcome the FacioMetrics team who will help bring more fun effects to photos and videos and build even more engaging sharing experiences on Facebook.”

FacioMetrics, a startup that was spun off from Carnegie Mellon University, was launched to meet the interest and demand for facial image analysis with applications such as augmented and virtual reality, animation, and audience reaction measurement, the company’s founder and CEO Fernando De la Torre wrote on the company’s website.

“Now, we’re taking a big step forward by joining the team at Facebook, where we’ll be able to advance our work at an incredible scale, reaching people from across the globe,” De la Torre added.

In 2003, De la Torre joined the Robotics Institute at CMU, where his research interests were in the fields of computer vision and machine learning. In December, the Human Sensing Laboratory at CMU released to fellow researchers its IntraFace software for tracking facial features and recognizing emotions. “Now it’s time to develop new applications for this technology. We have a few of our own, but we believe there are lots of people who may have even better ideas once they get their hands on it,” De la Torre said at the time.

Facebook has acquired companies in the past to enhance its photo and video capabilities, as it competes for users with services such as Snapchat. The acquisition of Masquerade Technologies in March brought technology that allows users to add special effects to faces in photos and videos.

Are UbiSoft Executives Guilty Of Insider Trading?

November 18, 2016 by  
Filed under Gaming

A number of Ubisoft executives have been accused of using insider knowledge to sell and profit from their stocks, although the Assassin’s Creed publisher has denied this is the case.

The allegations originate from Autorité des marchés financiers, the regulator for France’s stock market, according to Kotaku. There are five execs suspected of insider trading, including Yannis Mallat, CEO of Ubisoft Montreal.

AMF’s claims state that all five sold some of their Ubisoft stock in the weeks running up to October 15th, 2013 – the day the publisher announced both the upcoming Watch Dogs and The Crew would be delayed to 2014. Delays often cause publisher stocks to fall; in this case, Ubisoft’s dropped by approximately 25 per cent.

The regulator accuses Mallat and his colleagues of selling the stock based on their knowledge of the forthcoming delay, a violation of France’s insider trading laws. Mallat has since denied any knowledge of the delay at the time he sold his stocks.

The proceedings of this case will continue in November at Paris’ Commission des Sanctions. Three of the accused based in Canada have filed a a motion with Quebec’s Supreme Court demanding the procedure be declared invalid. They are also seeking damages against the AMF in both France and Quebec.

Ubisoft released a statement to Kotaku, stressing that the company itself has not been charged by the AMF and that the five execs “vigourously dispute their implication in this matter”. The publisher added that co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot will also stand by his staff.

“[He] does not question the good faith of the people involved and has reassured them that they have his full support and trust,” the statement reads.

Facebook Launches Metrics FYI To Provide Insights Into Its Video Ads

November 17, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

facebook-advertising-150x150Several months after Facebook Inc acknowledged it had inflated the average time it told advertisers that users were watching their video ads, the company is promising better data to give ad buyers a clearer picture of how they are spending their money.

The world’s biggest online social network on Wednesday launched a new blog on its website called Metrics FYI, where it will share updates and corrections for its data.

“We want to ensure our clients trust and believe in the metrics that we are providing,” Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s vice president of global market solutions told Reuters.

 Getting advertisers to buy more video ads is key to Facebook’s continued revenue growth, as they fetch higher rates from advertisers than text or photo-based ads.

Facebook, along with Alphabet Inc’s Google and other large digital companies, has been criticized for a lack of transparency in how it measures the performance of videos.

Particularly, the lack of a universally agreed method of calculating how much time people are watching online video has been a sore spot for advertisers.

Shares of Facebook were down 2.5 percent at $114.30 in premarket trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

In September, Facebook told advertisers that the average time users spent viewing online ads was artificially inflated, because it was only counting videos that were watched for at least three seconds, its benchmark for a “view.”

Facebook left out those who watched for less than three seconds, or who did not watch the video at all, which gave advertisers the impression their videos were performing better than they really were.

Since the admission and ensuing criticism from advertisers, Everson said Facebook has been in contact with clients and ad community trade groups, including the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

Facebook also said  it is in the process of forming what it called a ‘Measurement Council,’ which will include measurement experts from clients and ad agencies.

One of Facebook’s prominent advertisers, Swiss food and drink company Nestle SA, is already on board, Everson said, and the council should be up and running by early 2017.

The ANA, which represents Procter & Gamble Co, AT&T Inc and other major advertisers, has called on Facebook to get its metrics accredited by the Media Rating Council (MRC), an independent media measurement audit group.

While Facebook’s internal metrics are not accredited by that group, it does use MRC-accredited third-party vendors, such as Nielsen and comScore, to help advertisers verify certain data.

Is Intel Supporting The Overclocking Market?

November 17, 2016 by  
Filed under Computing

One of the things that we are noticing is that all the leaks and other information coming out of Intel, suggests that the outfit is getting excited about the overclocking market.

A lot of the marketing buzz about Kaby Lake architecture on the desktop by focusing on overclocking performance. Intel has several unlocked processors based on Kaby Lake, and they are not just at the high end.

Already overclockable Kaby Lake Core i7 and Core i5 processors have been leaked but the trend is suggesting that Intel will target cash strapped system builders with at least one unlocked Core i3 series processor, that is the dual-core processor Core i3-7350K. The retail box version will be sold for $177 which means that street pricing could end up being anywhere from $150 to $180.

The Core i3-7350K will have Hyper Threading support and is fast already with a base clock speed of 4GHz and a boost frequency of 4.2GHz. It is unclear how much overclocking you will get on top of that. But if you can get a couple of of hundred MHz with air cooling and a TDP rating of 61W as expected you could get a cost-effective chip, if it does not turn into a pile of molten plastic in your computer.

Kaby Lake is not that exciting to enthusiasts, but Intel seems to want to get a few more overclockers interested at the lower end of the market. A sub-$200 part that could open overclocking to a wider audience might just work.

It is a moot point if this will do much for sales. Overclocking is useful if you know what you are doing, and most buying at that price range either don’t know what they are doing, or are too scared to try it.


Ericsson Bullish On Global Smartphone Growth

November 16, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

ericsson-150x150Global subscriptions for smartphones will nearly double by 2022, aiding mobile data traffic to  an increase by eightfold, telecoms network gear maker Ericsson predicted.

The Swedish company said it expected there will be 6.8 billion smartphone subscriptions globally by the end of 2022, up from 3.9 billion in 2016.

In its previous forecast from June this year, Ericsson had said it expected 6.3 billion smartphone subscriptions by the end of 2021.

Ulf Ewaldsson, head of strategy and technology at Ericsson, said the biggest change from its previous report was the jump in 5G subscribers to 550 million in 2022 from 150 million in 2021.

“We predict that 25 percent of those will be in North America and 10 percent in Asia,” Ewaldsson told Reuters.

The first 5G networks will be launched at the end of 2017 and Ericsson plans to sell 5G equipment on a “larger scale” in 2018, Ewaldsson said.

Ericsson said mobile data traffic continues to grow, driven by an increase in smartphone subscriptions and data volume per subscription, fueled primarily by more viewing of video content.

Ericsson plans to boost efficiency and technology to deal with an expected increase of mobile data traffic of around 40 to 50 percent per year despite roughly flat infrastructure investments by telecom operators, Ewaldsson said.

Will Google Be Able To Stop Proprietary USB-C?

November 16, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

0-fast-chargingEarlier last week, we wrote that 28W fast-charging has made its rounds into the smartphone market with companies such as Qualcomm and Huawei preparing new USB-C charging accessories to charge devices between 55 and 70 percent in under 30 minutes.

Now, Google is telling the entire Android ecosystem of manufacturers that it does not want anyone to be using so-called “fast charging” technology on any Android devices, according to the latest Android Compatibility Definition document posted to its site. This includes proprietary technologies such as Qualcomm’s Quick Charge, which is already used on a handful of devices, and OnePlus Dash Charge. The reasoning is that these and similar methods require licensing a piece of hardware onto the device or charging cable, which makes them incompatible with USB-C equipped desktops and notebooks using the USB Power Delivery standard developed by USB-IF.

Android Compatibility Definition document (via

Under the “USB Peripheral Mode” section, the paper says that USB Type-C devices are strongly recommended not to support “proprietary charging methods that modify Vbus voltage beyond default levels or alter sink/source roles” as this can cause operational issues with devices supporting standard USB Power Delivery methods.

Not every chipset compatible with the same voltages

There are currently a few proprietary charging standards that operate using varying voltage levels, and this is the kind of situation the company wants to avoid as the Android platform moves ahead. With different manufacturers allowing devices to be charged at varying voltages with different USB-C cable modifications and wire gauges, there is no way to guarantee that a given SoC will be able to handle a USB-C charger that was not made specifically for the device.

Many Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 and 3.0 capable devices from ASUS, HP, HTC, LeEco, LG, Xaiomi and others use an approach called INOV (Intelligent Negotiation for Optimum Voltage) that adjusts voltage between 3.2V and 20V in 200mV increments, drawing less current as the battery charges up. On the other hand, OnePlus Dash Charge features voltage and current regulating circuitry inside the charger, which pulls heat away from the phone’s CPU and GPU and results in less performance throttling while charging.

Google only recommends USB Power Delivery standard

Currently, the USB Power Delivery standard already supports fast-charging, and this is used in Google’s own Pixel and Pixel XL. While the Nexus 6 supports Quick Charge 2.0, it appears the company has moved away from the technology and now suggests using the more unified USB-PD standard as it can ensure a more utopian vision where all Android device owners, PC owners and notebook owners are charging using the same cables within the same voltage specifications on the same standard interface.


Google Sets 1080p Standard For DayDream

November 16, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

daydreamingGoogle has revealed specifications for Daydream and has defined a minimum specification that you will need to make a Daydream work.

Traditionally you only need a boss that doesn’t pay attention on what you do in Daydream, but Google wants you to have a display between 4.7 and 6 inches with a resolution of at least 1080p 60Hz display. These phones need to have a 3ms or less latency and 5ms or less persistence. Quad HD 2560×1440 or higher resolution is recommended.

If six inches is the maximum, we wonder if the Daydream will make an adjustment to work on Xiaomi Mi Max and the highly anticipated and sold out in a minute, bezel-less Xiaomi Mi Mix. Both of them have 6.44 inch screen. The Google document is pretty clear, it says: “The display MUST measure between 4.7″ and 6″ diagonal.”

Daydream needs a GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.2 and Vulkan that is able to decode two instances of 60fps video simultaneously and can offer consistent 60 FPS rendering. Google also requires temperature sensors to read the device surface temperature as the company doesn’t necessarily want to set your face on fire. Just to remind you, you need to wear Daydream VR slot-in glasses with your phone on your face.

The device must have at least two physical cores, MUST support sustained performance mode, MUST support H.264 decoding at least 3840×2160@30fps- 40Mbps (equivalent to 4 instances of 1920×1080@30fps-10Mbps or 2 instances of 1920×1080@60fps-20Mbps), MUST support HEVC and VP9, MUST be capable to decode at least 1920×1080@30fps-10Mbps and SHOULD be capable to decode 3840×2160@30fps- 20Mbps (equivalent to 4 instances of 1920×1080@30fps-5Mbps). Google used ALL CAPS to make it clear that it is not kidding about the requirements.

Google Pixel is officially the first phone supporting Daydream and Daydream VR but it looks like most high end phones updated to Android 7.0 should work too. They MUST meet the requirements above.

Bear in mind that apart from the Pixel and the Pixel XL by Google the only phone having the Android 7.1 that we are aware of, the Huawei Mate 9 with 5.9-inch display and 1080p that  qualify this phone to work with Daydream.  Android 7 aka Nougat will come to more phones but as usual, Google and its partners are extremely slow to migrate to a new Android, a wound that won’t heal for Android OS anytime soon.

Google’s Daydream VR is on pre-orders for $79 and if that sounds like a good price, bear in mind that Xiaomi has its own Xiaomi slot-in VR glasses selling for $12.29 but it doesn’t come with the Daydream remote.


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