BlackBerry KEYone sets new record for pre-orders of a BlackBerry device at Rogers

Tweets sent out Friday by Steve Cistulli, President and GM of TCL Communication, revealed just how eagerly anticipated the BlackBerry KEYone is, at least in Canada. The executive said that the KEYone set a new record for the number of pre-orders received by Canadian carrier Rogers for any BlackBerry device. Cistulli also had a message for U.S. consumers interested in the BlackBerry KEYone. He said that on May 31st, when the KEYone launches in the U.S., it will be in stock and available through “different retail channels.”

There are two features of the BlackBerry KEYone that consumers have fixated on. One is the physical QWERTY keyboard, which is a major improvement over the one on the BlackBerry Priv slider. The other is the long battery life, which is due to the energy sipping Snapdragon 625 chipset in combination with the 3505mAh battery on board.

Rogers was among the first carriers to offer BlackBerry service in Canada back in 1999. With that in mind, the record number of  pre-orders garnered by the carrier for the BlackBerry KEYone bodes well for sales of the device in the country. In the states, unlocked GSM and CDMA versions of the handset will be available this coming Tuesday,  priced at $549. Later this summer, the KEYone will be offered through U.S. carriers including Sprint. As more information is released about U.S. availability, we will pass it along to you.

source: @SteveCistulli via CrackBerry

Software update is pushed out to the T-Mobile LG V20

The T-Mobile version of the LG V20 has started receiving an update to software version H91810k. According to the T-Mobile support page, the update adds the Google monthly security patch, eliminates various bugs, and adds stability to software running on the phone. In addition, a problem with the e911 (enhanced 911) feature is remedied. This is the version of 911 that allows dispatchers to know where you are calling from when you make an emergency call from a smartphone.

The update weighs in at 88.7MB. When it arrives on your LG V20, make sure that you are connected to a Wi-Fi network before starting the updating process. In addition, you need to charge the battery on the handset up to at least 50% before moving ahead with the update’s installation.

Since this is an OTA update, it is sent out on a staggered basis. That means that it can still be a few days before it hits your LG V20. If you’re not the patient type, you can try to manually update your handset by going to Settings > General > About phone > Update Center > System update > Check for update.

This might not be the most feature-packed software update, but the security patch is important as is the e911 fix. Make sure you take the opportunity to install the update on your LG V20 as soon as possible.

source: T-Mobile via TMONews

Unannounced Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) and Galaxy J5 (2017) star in hands-on videos

Samsung has yet to announce the Galaxy J7 (2017) and Galaxy J5 (2017), but we’ve already seen renders showing both handsets. What’s more, Samsung inadvertently confirmed the phones’ existence, so we assume it won’t be long before they’ll hit the market. Until that happens, we can now take a look at the two upcoming phones in a couple of short video reviews made somewhere in Russia. The videos are not subtitled, but at least they provide the best look at the new Galaxy J series thus far.

Both the Galaxy J7 (2017) and Galaxy J5 (2017) are made out of metal, and share the same design, although they do differ in size. The handsets run Android 7 Nougat, and – unlike any previous Galaxy J phone – they feature fingerprint scanners.

The new Galaxy J7 sports a 5.5-inch 1080p display, further offering an octa-core Samsung Exynos 7870 processor, 3 GB of RAM, 16 GB of expandable storage space, and a 3600 mAh battery. There’s a 13 MP camera on the back of the handset, and another 13 MP camera on the front, both with LED flashes. All in all, this seems to be a pretty capable mid-range smartphone.

The new Galaxy J5 is also powered by an Exynos 7870 processor, and has 13 MP rear and front cameras, but it only offers 2 GB of RAM and a 3000 mAh battery. Oh, and its display is a 5.2-inch 720p one.

Right now, it’s not clear if the Galaxy J (2017) series – which should also include a new J3 – will be officially released in the US. However, since various older Galaxy J7 and J3 variants are available stateside via carriers like Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile, we assume that at least some of the new models will make it to the US. We’ll let you know more about the Galaxy J (2017) family as soon as Samsung announces it.

source: YouTube (Galaxy J7 2017, Galaxy J5 2017)

Bloomberg: Apple is prepping a dedicated AI processor

According to a source familiar with Apple’s plans, the company is designing an artificial intelligence-focused chip that would concentrate on functions that would normally requite human intelligence. This includes facial and speech recognition. Apple feels pressured to regain the advantage it once had in this space when it surprised everyone with the inclusion of personal assistant Siri. That took place on October 4th, 2011 with the release of the Apple iPhone 4s.. Since then, not only have companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft caught up with Apple’s technology, many are well ahead.

Apple currently uses both the central processing unit and the graphics processing unit in its devices to handle processes that use AI. Apple could increase processing speed and preserve battery life by having a dedicated chip handle any AI tasks. Chipmaker Qualcomm already has an AI module built in to the Snapdragon 835 chipset, which is currently running high-end Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. The chip will also be found inside the recently introduced HTC U11.

According to the source, Apple plans on offering third-party developers access to the chip, which will allow them to include AI features on their apps. Former Apple analyst Gene Munster points out the reasons why Apple is working on this chip. “Two of the areas that Apple is betting its future on require AI,” said Munster. “At the core of augmented reality and self-driving cars is artificial intelligence.”

We could hear more from Apple about this AI chip during WWDC, which starts next month. Apple will also introduce iOS 11 at the annual conference, which will take place June 5th through June 9th.

source: Bloomberg

Final ruling from arbitration panel awards BlackBerry $940 million from Qualcomm

Last month, we told you that an arbitration panel had awarded BlackBerry a preliminary amount of $814.9 million from Qualcomm to resolve a dispute over royalties. BlackBerry claimed that Qualcomm failed to cap the amount of royalties that it was paying based on an agreement both sides shook hands over back in 2010. Back then, BlackBerry was still quite a relevant company in the smartphone industry, just one year removed from its peak as King of the Smartphone world. At the time, everyone expected BlackBerry’s sales to continue to rise including both Qualcomm and BlackBerry itself.

As a result, the pair reached a deal for BlackBerry to make fixed royalty payments to Qualcomm based on the number of phones BlackBerry sold. Just then, BlackBerry sales were destroyed by both the Apple iPhone and a variety of Android handsets. As BlackBerry sales collapsed, the fixed royalty payments to Qualcomm were becoming too high based on the lower number, and surpassed Qualcomm’s royalty cap, which was designed to keep down the cost of using Qualcomm’s essential patents.

When BlackBerry and Qualcomm made the original agreement, they decided on using binding arbitration to handle any dispute among the parties. That led to the preliminary decision made last month. Today, a final award was issued by the arbitration panel and BlackBerry is now to be paid $940 million by Qualcomm. The payment must be made on or before May 31st, 2017. That happens to be the same day that the new BlackBerry KEYone is launched in the U.S. It sounds like a day for the company to hold a celebration.

source: BlackBerry

Four free months of Google Play Music now offered for new subscribers

Google usually offers three free months of Google Play Music for new subscribers, after which they have to pay $9.99 per month if they want to continue to use the music streaming service.

However, it looks like the Mountain View company wants to enlarge its pool of subscribers by running a promotion on its music service. For a limited time, Google offers new customers four free months of Google Play Music instead of just three.

Nothing else changed regarding the service’s price, so you’ll still have to pay $9.99 after the four-month trial that Google is now …

Android os co-founder’s new phone unveil teased for Tuesday [Update]

Update: Whelp, if you didn’t think we had been in for a phone unveil on 30, think again. 

Android co-founder Andy Rubin’s start-up Essential delivered another tweet on May 25, this time around of a rectangular silhouette that appears suspiciously just like a phone (the buttons!). Real to rumors, it seems there exists a hardware attachment, most likely the camera, at the top.

Original story below…

Two months after teasing a mysterious brand new device, high-profile startup important could possibly be just times far from unveiling its debut phone.

Started by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, Essential has cut loose the very first tweet on its formal Twitter profile, announcing that “something big” is expected to go down this coming Tuesday, might 30.

It absolutely was reported back January that Rubin was creating a brand new, high-end smartphone that featured a ceramic straight back and edge-to-edge display. One standout function associated with the rumored device is the capacity to tack on brand new equipment via the phone’s charge slot, perhaps not unlike Motorola’s clip-on Moto Mod upgrades.

Since then, Rubin teased an image of exactly what seems to be a bezel-less handset, while Alphabet executive president Eric Schmidt confirmed the telephone Rubin’s group is cooking up runs on Android.

Thus giving united states at the very least two possible factual statements about the mysterious important Phone, though we will turn to find out more difficult details whenever Essential drops its “big” news in a few days.

Deal: Apple iPad Mini 4 is 25% off at Best Buy, you save $100

Best Buy’s four-day Memorial Day sale kicks off with attractive deals on some of Apple’s tablets and smartwatches. In case you haven’t read our previous report, then you’ll be glad to know you can save $70 when you buy any of Apple’s Watch Series 2 smartwatches at Best Buy.

However, if you’re looking for a tablet, Best Buy has another deal for you. The iPad Mini 4 has been discounted by $100 (25% off), which means customers will be able to pick this one up for just $300. The iPad Mini 4 Wi-Fi is available at Best Buy in three color choices: Gold, Silver and Space …

T-Mobile launches Alcatel GO Flip dumb phone for just $75

Even though smartphone sales exploded in the last couple of years, there are still many consumers who are still using so-called “dumb phones.” Few major brands still launch feature phones, and they’re mostly selling well in emerging markets where people can’t afford smartphones.

Well, it appears that T-Mobile has picked up a new features phone, the Alcatel GO Flip. As the name suggests, this is a clamshell phone that offers just the basic traits even though it packs decent specs.

First off, it’s worth pointing out the Alcatel GO Flip is available at T-Mobile …

Microsoft video shows what it really had in mind for the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL

Imagine the Microsoft Lumia 950 and Microsoft Lumia 950 XL with a Surface Pen. That was the original plan, according to marketing documents that Microsoft had produced back in 2015. Eventually, the decision was made not to spend the money on producing such high-end features. Shortly after the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL were unveiled by Microsoft, we passed along a rumor that Surface Pen support was coming to the two phones. That, of course, never happened.

The video at the top of the story was turned over to Windows Central by an anonymous source and was believed to be produced early …