Conference calls and video meetings have almost been synonymous with Skype for the longest time, but Amazon is looking at changing that. Chime, a new Amazon Web Services platform, wants to simplify communications between teams and individuals and cater to their different aspects in one app: video call, voice call, chat, and screen sharing.
Chime is now available on Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows. According to Amazon, the service was built from the ground up with mobile in mind, so the apps work well on phones and let users seamlessly transition from and to their desktops. There are a few other advantages to Chime, like the lack of any long pins (meetings ring up like a phone call), quick options to get out of a meeting or let others know you're running late, a view of all participants and their current status, the possibility to mute one specific person's microphone if there's too much ambient noise around them, and the ability for anyone to share their screen without too much hassle. Read More
The Huawei Watch was many people's favorite Android Wear smartwatch back when it was released in 2015, and it remains so because of its round screen and 'classic' watch look. Huawei CEO Richard Yu has now confirmed on Weibo that the Huawei Watch 2 will be unveiled at MWC, following earlier speculation that this would be the case.
Yu doesn't say anything about the Watch 2, but shares a promotional picture, featuring a man in sports attire wearing the watch. Could this indicate the new model is aimed at the sports watch market? This would mark quite a change from its predecessor, although it's what VentureBeat reported on last month. Read More
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Back at Google I/O 2016, we got a first look at Google Assistant. It was designed to be a conversational assistant, as opposed to the search-based Google Now. Then when Allo was released in September, it shipped with a beta version of Assistant. Finally when the Google Pixel phones were released in October, Assistant was a major selling point.
Google has a tendency to rush products out the door without fully finishing them, and Assistant was no exception. So now that about four months have passed since the official introduction of Google Assistant (roughly five months if you count the Allo beta), has anything changed? Read More
As the years go by, I get lazier it seems. So the prospect of talking to my computing devices gets better and better as time passes (even if I have to yell across my house to my Google Home, which is amusing in its own right). However, always-on speech recognition comes at a price for battery-operated devices. Researchers at MIT claim to have to come up with a solution to this: a dedicated speech recognition chip that can reduce power consumption by 90-99% across real-world devices. Read More
Nokia, much like BlackBerry, no longer manufactures its own devices. After selling its entire mobile division to Microsoft in 2014, it partnered with Foxconn to manufacture the Nokia N1 tablet, but that seemed to be a one-time deal. Now HMD Global, the Finnish manufacturer with the exclusive right to use the Nokia brand for phones, might be launching new Nokia devices at Mobile World Congress. Read More
Yesterday, Verizon announced they would start offering unlimited data plans again, for the first time in over five years. For $80 a month, the plan has remarkably few catches - speeds may be decreased in congested areas after 22GB, and you only get 10GB of LTE data for tethering. Now T-Mobile appears to be rushing to stay competitive, as CEO John Legere has announced changes to the T-Mobile ONE Plan on Twitter. Read More
Google rolled out the Verify Apps framework many years ago to scan apps as they were installed. Then, in 2014 it added the ability to constantly scan apps to watch for malicious behavior. You were sort of taking Google at its word as a user that Verify Apps was indeed rummaging around to keep tabs on things. Now you can see some of what it's doing—the settings menu now shows which apps have recently been scanned. Read More
Unlimited data is back at Verizon. There's much merriment to be had throughout the land, as data-hungry power users once again return to their streaming music and video services without fear of sudden charges or slowdowns. It's been over five years since Verizon cut off access to unlimited data, and the number of customers hanging on to their grandfathered unlimited plans has dwindled down to a few grizzled veterans. It's a good day for wireless customers. Read More