We all wondered if Google would ever decide to launch its own smartwatch, as the Wear OS platform went bankrupt. According to a new report, Google has already tried to do it once, but it canceled the effort at the last minute because the experience was not good enough. The Pixel Watch material finally debuted as LG's Brand OS devices, and in fact, they were not good.
The story begins in 2016 as Google prepares for the Pixel launch under the guidance of its new hardware tsar, Rick Osterloh. The Pixel phones would replace the Nexus devices of the company with a new emphasis on elegance and ease of use. The unveiling of the Pixel in October 2016 originally had to also include a pair of Pixel watches. However, Osterloh unplugged at the last minute.
According to a former member of the Google hardware team, some basic features of the watches just did not work properly. For example, the synchronization between new Pixel phones and Pixel watches was at best uneven, and Osterloh was suspicious of the mediocrity of clothing that would weigh on its first major hardware launch.
Google would have prepared the branding, product photos and marketing plans for the watch when Osterloh canceled the project. Google announced the Pixel phones soon after, and the rumors circulating were not visible anywhere. The equipment, manufactured by LG, did not go directly to the trash. LG has recovered the designs to launch two smartwatches under its own brand several months later.
The LG Watch Style and Watch Sport watches were launched in early 2017 for largely lukewarm reviews. Google has given promotional attention to devices because they were the first to use the new Android Wear 2.0 update (this was before the new Wear OS image). Neither one nor the other device sold in significant quantities.
The report also notes that the current state of Wear OS is catastrophic and that no one seems to know how to fix it. Google still does not work on its own smartwatch because of persistent issues with the platform. So, do not expect portable devices during the Google hardware event next month. For now, Google seems happy to let Fossil mediocre release smartwatches generation after generation while Apple engulfs a larger share of the market.
Google launched Project Fi (now only Google Fi) at a time when unlimited mobile data was scarce. Now all operators have an "unlimited" level of service and some offer only unlimited services. Google is tuning in today, adding an unlimited service option on Google Fi. This will cost you more than the standard service, but it might be perfect for frequent travelers who use a lot of data.
Google calls the standard Fi plan launched in 2015 the option "Flexible Fi". You pay a fixed monthly fee of $ 20 for a single line (less if you have more lines), then $ 10 per gigabyte of data used. However, Google has recently implemented a "bill protection" feature that stops billing you after 6 GB of data. This ensures that your bill will not exceed $ 80 for a single line. Fi is an MVNO and your signal oscillates between T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular to retain the best signal.
The new Unlimited Fi rate is a lot like what you could get from Verizon or T-Mobile. It starts at $ 70 a month for a single line. If you have more than one, the cost per line decreases. This gives you "unlimited" data with the same operator transfer capability. This plan also includes free calls to more countries than the Flexible option and you get a Google One membership base. That means occasional offers and 100GB of cloud storage in Google Drive.
The unlimited data on the new Fi plan are, of course, not really Unlimited You get 22 GB of data per month on each line. Google reserves the right to limit your bandwidth for the remainder of the billing cycle. So, it's still a little unlimited, but very slow unlimited. Unlimited Google Fi plan as well speeds up the video to a resolution of about 480p. This alone will make the 22GB threshold much more difficult.
In some respects, it's an admission that Google's global approach to mobile MVNOs has not worked. The agreement is really not much different from what you get from the carriers themselves. Perhaps the most unique feature of Fi remains however. You can still use your data fast, without fear, in most countries. The four major US carriers are limiting their speed in other countries or need costly international complements to ensure full LTE speeds. Google Fi, both flexible and unlimited, includes full speed LTE technology in almost every country.
The Wi-Fi standard 6 was officially launched today and the Wi-Fi Alliance now awards Wi-Fi 6 certifications to manufacturers with eligible hardware. We will start seeing devices and equipment with Wi-Fi support 6 coming to the market in the near future.
The Wi-Fi 6 has several features that make it advantageous compared to 802.11ac (also called Wi-Fi 5). First of all, for those of you who may not remember where this nickname "Wi-Fi 6" comes from: The Wi-Fi Alliance have defined certain specific Wi-Fi levels (4, 5 and 6) corresponding to certain levels of technology. Wi-Fi 4 corresponds to 802.11n, Wi-Fi 5 to 802.11ac and Wi-Fi 6 to 802.11ax.
802.11ax is designed to integrate more Wi-Fi signals into the same congested space, especially in your home / business / local NFL stadium. The standard shines in dense deployments, with throughput up to 4x greater than 802.11ac, even though nominal nominal speeds have only improved by 37% in the best of times. The 802.11ax standard uses OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) to subdivide the spectrum for simultaneous assignment to many users (this feature was missing in the 802.11ac standard). It can simultaneously use multi-user MIMO and multi-user OFDMA, and has features for more efficient spectrum sharing and reuse between devices.
According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, all of these enhancements are needed to support the heavy deployments of today's homes. In the early days of Wi-Fi, the only enabled device could be a laptop or two. Today, a household can have 3 to 5 computers, 3 to 5 phones, a smart TV and a smart speaker. However, device manufacturers must plan for a future in which a router might be juggling connections with 3 to 5 computers, 3 to 5 phones, 2 to 4 smart TVs, 4 to 6 smart speakers, and 20 to 30 smartphones. different IoT. appliances and devices deployed throughout the house. Cumulate as many products and start encountering local interference from your own network, not to mention what your neighbor might be doing.
The other major feature introduced with Wi-Fi 6 is the WPA3. Unfortunately, it has already been confirmed that WPA3 suffered from some of the same security vulnerabilities as WPA2. Earlier this year, security researchers published results demonstrating these vulnerabilities and called the development approach used to certify WPA3 fundamentally flawed. "In light of the attacks presented, we believe that WPA3 does not meet the standards of a modern security protocol," wrote the authors. "In addition, we believe that our attacks could have been avoided if the Wi-Fi Alliance had created WPA3 certification more openly."
There are many ways to force WPA3 into a degraded mode that exposes network information insecurely, and the standard as a whole does not seem to be as powerful as WPA2 or WPA was perceived in their final deployment. There is evidence that it is possible to correct WPA3 devices in some cases, and we are not trying to suggest that there is no improvement in security between WPA3 and WPA2 that has not been compromised, but the situation does not seem to be as strong as in the life cycles of previous products.
In all honesty, this is not necessarily surprising. A major review of the firmware of the device over the past 15 years conducted in August revealed essentially zero improvement in security during this time. According to Sarah Zatko, chief scientist of the Cyber Independent Testing Lab (CITL), "No one is trying. We have found no consistency in the fact that a supplier or product line improves or shows improvement. There is no indication that anyone is making concerted efforts to ensure the safety of the products in terms of hygiene. "
In theory, WPA3 should be a major selling point for a product like this, but the overall security issues associated with these devices clearly show that to secure they are of secondary importance for their different designers. It is perhaps not surprising that WPA3 is also a problem.
The first devices supporting Wi-Fi 6 include the Galaxy Note 10, the Galaxy S10 and the three iPhones recently announced by Apple. Most, if not all, of the flagship devices will likely include support from now on.
Apple and Google both dedicate a lot of time and energy to enhancing the security of their mobile platforms. No software is perfect, but Android and iOS are generally very secure nowadays. It does not matter when an attack can completely bypass your operating system. Adaptive Mobile Security researchers say they discovered an attack method called Simjacker that can track users by sending a text message.
AdaptiveMobile believes that sending a text message is simple, SimJacker is a very complex and sophisticated attack. The attacker can launch Simjacker from any smartphone able to send SMS messages. These messages include a hidden instructions package from Sim Toolkit that interacts with the S @ T browser. This is an application that resides on the SIM card of many phones, not on the phone itself. Therefore, none of the security features of Android or iOS can block the attack.
The S @ T browser does not exist on all SIM cards for mobile operators, but it can be used to perform operations such as launching websites or playing sounds. These are more rarely used, but operators usually transmit ads and billing information via the S @ T browser. Simjacker abuses this system by asking the phone to provide IMEI location data and phone network. Again, none of this occurs in the operating system and the message does not even appear in the SMS application, so the user is not told that something is wrong. Then Simjacker sends this data to another phone number where the data is collected.
AdaptiveMobile explains that the attack works on devices from Motorola, Apple, Google, Huawei, and so on. It's all about the technology of the SIM card, and it's not an attack that just popped up. AdaptiveMobile says it has found evidence that Simjacker has been active for two years in highly targeted attacks.
Adaptive Mobile did not disclose the company or government that Simjacker uses, but said that it was not a mass surveillance operation. Instead, the author follows a small number of targets several times a day. Researchers investigated site numbers several times a week.
The good news is that mobile operators should be able to quickly end Simjacker. It relies on sending binary code to devices in the form of an SMS rather than a normally formatted SMS message. This should facilitate filtering at the network level.
Google is on a ripping lately, updating all of its mobile apps with the new Material Theming design style. In practice, this means a lot of blinding applications. Unexpectedly, there is a method for Google's madness. It is necessary to move to the new Material theme to implement dark application themes. Gmail, one of the most popular Google apps, finally you have a dark theme on Androidbut not all phones have it right away.
Gmail has blinded smartphone users for longer than most apps. As a largely textual experience, there has always been a lot of white space in the inbox and the emails themselves. Google has made Gmail even brighter when it launched the new design some time ago. The red accent colors were replaced by, you guessed it, more white.
Dark themes have been a common joke among Android enthusiasts because of the way Google keeps teasing it. The latest beta versions of Android have included a dark theme that has not been incorporated into the final version. Finally, Android 10 (previously known as the Android Q) finally has a real dark theme. The deployment of Gmail is only the latest example of Google application that uses a dark theme that connects to Android 10.
The first version of Gmail featuring a dark user interface mode is 2019.08.18.267044774, but having this version does not necessarily guarantee that you will have the dark theme. There is also a server-side component that deploys at the request of Google. Until now, a small number of users have this feature, but everyone should be able to switch pretty quickly to dark mode.
The dark theme of Gmail uses a very dark gray rather than completely black, which can make the reading of white text very constraining. The inbox and most emails must use this same color scheme. Emails containing HTML are a notable exception. These will probably always be rendered in other colors, probably white.
If you use Android 10 (almost nobody does), you can automatically switch to the dark theme when you enable system-level failover. In addition to this option, the Gmail app includes a manual flip-flop of light and dark colors. So, even if you're using an older version of Android, you can manually change Gmail to become invisible by searching the settings. It's a step in the right direction, but many Google apps still have no dark theme. Even the white themed Play Store still lacks dark fashion.
Apple today unveiled its next trio of new iPhones, covering the iPhone 11 and the new iPhone Pro product family. The company abandons the confusing marks "XR" and "XS" that it had deployed last year in favor of a simplified structure. The iPhone 11 is only the iPhone 11, while the professional model will come in two versions: the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
As expected, these devices make camera features and technology a major component of their own value propositions. But the iPhone 11, at least, subtly admits that Apple's price increases were all but welcomed last year. The base model iPhone 11 will be priced at $ 699, or $ 50 less than the iPhone XR last year. Although this does not make the device "basic" (new or not, $ 699 is not an entry-level price), this at least shows that the company reacts to the refusal of the consumer to buy its high-end devices – at least a bit The iPhone 11 Pro always starts at $ 999, while the iPhone 11 Pro Max is a $ 1,099 device. Pre-orders begin September 13th and shipments begin September 20th.
The iPhone 11 has a 6.1-inch display and will be offered in a variety of colors, including black, green, purple, red, white and yellow. Features such as touch, True Tone LCD, and dual camera are standard. According to Apple, the new A13 Bionic will offer up to an hour of increased battery life compared to the iPhone XR, which already had the best battery life of the iPhone family.
As for the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max, these two devices measure respectively 5.8 inches and 6.5 inches. They have what Apple calls an OLED display "Super Retina XDR" that supports the P3 color space, which is a wider color gamut than a standard SDR monitor or phone screen. Dolby Vision and HDR10 are both supported by the iPhone Pro family, and the display can handle up to 1,200 nits of brightness. The iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro both feature features such as Dolby Atmos support and are expected to provide better spatial audio performance.
All of these new devices are running on Apple's SoC Bionic A13, which is relatively unknown at this stage. Apple says the new chip offers performance up to 20% faster and its neural engine is supposedly more efficient. Apple claims that the iPhone 11 Pro will have four hours more battery life than the iPhone XS, while the iPhone 11 Pro Max will last five hours longer than the iPhone XS Max . These claims seem unusually large and I'm wondering about the workloads used by Apple to test them. The battery life on smartphones strongly depends on what you do. We have already seen such improvements in battery life before, but they usually occur when a workload previously handled by software (such as video decoding) is transferred to function-based hardware blocks. fixed (as the built-in video decoder of a graphics processor). .
We are not saying that Apple can not improve battery life from 4 to 5 hours, but this improvement can be very dependent on the workload. An improvement in battery life of 4 to 5 hours in all scenarios of heavy use would be a significant advance in battery technology. This is a little further than we are willing to do until the features of the device have been thoroughly tested.
Apple is clearly putting the iPhone 11 on its camera technology. When you visit the iPhone 11 landing page, you'll feel like you've fallen into a product page describing the progress of Apple's camera technology, as opposed to the general landing page of the phone. . The iPhone 11 has a new camera system with a 12MP wide camera and an ultra-wide 12MP camera. The first supports the optical stabilization of the image, while the latter has a field of view of 120 degrees. The Camera app has been updated to allow you to see outside the frame of the photo when you need to take a picture in tight spaces.
The iPhone 11 Pro includes a three-camera system with a 12MP wide camera with an equivalent focal length of 26 mm and an aperture of f / 1.8. There is also a 12 MP ultra-slim camera (13mm focal length, aperture f / 2.4) and a 12MP telephoto lens with a focal length of 52mm and an aperture of f / 2.0. Most of Apple's live events and web pages are filled with paper-based demonstrations of the type of photos you can take with the new iPhone Pro and professionals touting the benefits of the new device over previous models.
David Cardinal is our resident photography expert, so I'll go back to him with regard to any professional comparison between professional DSLR cameras and the built-in models found in phones. I expect that this focus on the iPhone's camera technology will help at least the device to reduce the gap between it and the autonomous DSLR cameras in some cases, especially thanks to the new night mode, but that there will always be specific moments and places benefit from having a professional standalone product. I have observed that smartphones are better able to provide a very good default, but there are intrinsic difficulties in matching the benefits of a DSLR in such a limited space.
The iPhone Pro, at least, includes a quick charger in the box. The iPhone 11 continues to not do it. All these devices have an IP68 water resistance, commonly called waterproof.
The landing page of the iPhone 11 Pro is even more focused on photo and video. It is essentially devoted to a demonstration of all the photo and video editing features of the new camera, or plans that claim to show the benefits of the new cameras. These types of affirmations will need to be evaluated to see how they resist in objective tests. So I do not have much to say about them, apart from the fact that Apple is trying to push customers almost entirely towards new products. based on camera technology.
It may not be the worst approach. There are rumors that the company is considering a major overhaul of the iPhone then year, with the introduction of new features such as 5G support on this date. Customers, meanwhile, tend to respond well to visual enhancements: the original introduction of Retina displays was a huge success for Apple, and smart camera cameras are one of the few areas that have continued to To improve at a steady pace, even with regard to the overall performance of the devices and the battery life improvements have slowed down.
According to rumors, Apple will relaunch a new iPhone SE in 2020. If he intends to unveil such a device, he will do so later. There was no mention of a new low-end product. The iPhone 7 has been removed from the sale; the iPhone 8 is now the entry-level model of Apple's lowest at $ 449.