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Nokia 5.1 now getting a healthy serving of Android 9 Pie

Nokia 5.1 smartphone

HMD Global chief product officer Juho Sarvikas announced on Twitter yesterday morning that the company is now pushing out Android 9 Pie to the Nokia 5.1. That makes the Nokia 5.1 the fourth Nokia smartphone to get Pie this year so far.

Exact details weren’t disclosed, but we’re expecting a phased roll-out over the next few days. We also don’t know how large the download is, though we’re expecting it to be at least one GB — make sure you’re on Wi-Fi before you download.

With Pie, the Nokia 5.1 should now have new system navigation functionality, Adaptive Battery, Adaptive Brightness, and App Actions. There isn’t yet a changelog to confirm these features — the Nokia 8’s Pie update excluded Adaptive Battery, so perhaps not every Pie feature is available on the Nokia 5.1.

It’s nice to see HMD Global continually on top of its Pie roll-out — the company came out on top in terms of how quickly it updated a wide swath of its devices by the end of 2018.

According to HMD Global’s Pie timeline, the next Nokia smartphones to get Pie by the end of March are the Nokia 3.1 and Nokia 2.1. Following these devices are the Nokia 3 and Nokia 1, which will get Pie in “early Q2 2019.”

NEXT: Nokia in 2019: Onwards and upwards

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Dragify PopSites

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How to use the Samsung Galaxy S10 reverse wireless charging feature

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus Wireless Power Share (13 of 13)

If you purchase any of the new Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphones, you will be able to use a very cool feature that the company calls Wireless PowerShare. Basically, those phones can also charge up almost any other smartphone or other devices that support the Qi wireless charging standard.

Editor’s Pick

Here’s how to use the Samsung Galaxy S10 reverse wireless charging feature.

How to use the Galaxy S10 Wireless Powershare feature

As you will see, it’s pretty simple to launch this reverse charging feature on the Galaxy S10 phones:

  1. First, go to the main display on the phone and pull down the Settings menu from the top of the screen, above the notification panel.
  2. Then scroll down until you see the Wireless PowerShare icon in the Settings menu. If for some reason you don’t see that icon, tap on the Menu icon that’s on the top right corner of the screen, and then tap on the Button Order to add the Wireless PowerShare icon
  3. Tap on the Wireless PowerShare icon so that it is colored blue.
  4. Finally, just turn over the Samsung Galaxy S10 so that the back is facing up, and place your Qi-based smartphone, your Galaxy Watch, your Galaxy Buds or any other compatible device on that back to begin reverse charging that product.
  5. Once you have completed reverse charging the device on top of the Galaxy S10, just take it off the phone. Then flip the Galaxy S10 over to the front display, and tap “Cancel” at the bottom to turn Wireless PowerShare off.

What to do if reverse charging doesn’t work

If for some reason your Qi-based device is not receiving a charge when placed on the back of the Samsung Galaxy S10, there are a few troubleshooting tasks you can do that might fix it.

  1. Make sure the Galaxy S10’s own battery has enough of a charge. The Wireless PowerShare feature will only work if the phone has been charged up to at least 30 percent of its battery capacity.
  2. If the smartphone that’s being reverse charged by the Galaxy S10 isn’t getting charged up, and it is inside a cover or case, you might try removing that cover or case to see if that works.
  3. Finally, keep in mind that while in theory all Qi-based devices should be supported by this Wireless PowerShare feature, Samsung’s own support pages do admit that it “may not work with some accessories, covers, or other manufacturer’s devices.”

Have you use the Wireless PowerShare reverse charging feature on the Samsung Galaxy S10 phones and, if so, what are your impressions? Let us know in the comments!

Affiliate disclosure: We may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. See our disclosure policy for more details.

Hidey Hole grabs wallpapers from Reddit for you that hide the Galaxy S10’s camera

Samsung Galaxy S10e Toy Story Wallpaper

Since the launch of the Galaxy S10 series, users (including Samsung) have been creating wallpapers that hide the phone’s hole punch cameras. Now, Chainfire, a well-known Android developer, has released an app called Hidey Hole that aggregates these wallpapers for you (via Android Police). 

As the developer states in the app’s Play Store listing, you could get all of these wallpapers yourself by just visiting Reddit. What’s special about Hidey Hole, is that the app makes finding specific images more convenient to locate while throwing in a couple of extra features.

Inside the app, you can first sort the wallpapers based on which Galaxy S10 they were made for. From there, you can have the photos listed by the date that they were uploaded to Reddit or by popularity. And thirdly, you can also search for wallpapers by category. Unfortunately, it looks like this feature is still a bit buggy.

Lastly, Chainfire added the ability to edit a wallpaper’s brightness, contrast, and colors. These controls allow users to finetune each image to look best on their displays.

Editor’s Pick

Don’t bother downloading this app though if you aren’t using a Galaxy S10 device. The developer states that it will crash on opening and they won’t fix it. You will have to find creative wallpapers somewhere else. 

You can download Hidey Hole directly from the Play Store for free using the button below. 

Qualcomm says smart speakers to get smarter and sound better

Qualcomm’s vision for the future of smart speakers is one that’s dramatically better than what we have today. The company announced two new components that will improve the experience all around.

A dedicated system-on-a-chip, called the QCS400, aims to boost the IQ of sound bars, as well as in-home and portable smart speakers. Moreover, a refreshed power amplifier, called the CSRA6640, will bring better sound to lower-cost devices.

Smarter smart speakers

If you have a speaker powered by Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, you already know that the experience can be frustrating. Sometimes the speaker doesn’t hear you, or mishears you, or makes you wait a second or two before it comes to life and responds. Whether given its smarts by Alexa or Assistant, the answers we receive run the gamut from straight on to off the rails.

The smart speakers on sale today are powered by a variety of parts-bin components. Qualcomm says it has (so far) gotten away with shoehorning its mobile SoCs into smart devices. Now that smart speakers are on track to be in 220 million homes by 2020 to 2021, Qualcomm knew it needed to up its game.

Hence the QCS400.

This series of chips is the first from Qualcomm that are dedicated to the smart home and smart speaker segments. They were engineered from the ground up with modern voice controls, connectivity, power needs, and quality in mind. The QSC400 was developed to provide a more robust voice user interface at low power while delivering a seamless experience.

The QSC400 modules read like something directly from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon lineup. Each has a quad-core power processor, the Hexagon DSP for audio interfaces, an Adreno GPU (for smart displays), 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, and on-device security for keeping a lid on personal data.

One core aspect Qualcomm focused on was improving voice response time. Devices based on the QSC400 should respond to user requests faster. Keyword recognition is stronger. The QSC400’s DSP and audio interfaces give it more control over far-field microphones for recognizing those keywords. Interestingly, Qualcomm pitched the idea of allowing device builders to use their own brand name as the keyword, such as Bose or Sonos.

A seamless experience — particularly when streaming media — is highly reliant on connectivity. The QSC400 has advanced connectivity options, such as beamforming, to handle single- and multi-room streaming with little to no latency.

Qualcomm claims the QCS400 family improves standby battery life by a factor of 25 with active voice listening enabled. This is good news for portable smart speakers, which will chew through less power as they sit idly awaiting your command.

Let’s not forget audio quality. The chip supports Dolby, DTS X, and aptX Adaptive for the best in sound processing.

The QSC400 family comprises four distinct SoCs. The 403 is for home hubs, voice assistants, and entry-level sound bars; the 404 is for smart speakers, sound bars, and audio-capable mesh routers; the 405 is for premium smart speakers, smart sound bars, and display-capable home hubs; and the 407 is for premium smart sound bars and AVRs. 

In the demos I saw at Qualcomm’s campus in San Diego, the QSC400 showed quick response times to voice commands and powered decent-sounding smart reference speakers. It will be up to device makers to really put the QSC400 to work.

Louder smart speakers

What good are smarts if you can’t put them to effective use?

The number one request made by owners of smart speakers is for the device to play music. Many existing smart speakers deliver a less-than-stellar audio experience. This is partly due to the fact that consumers will buy a device that is smart more so than a device that sounds good. Too many people settle for the mediocre experience provided by devices that are in their price range.

Qualcomm believes its new power amplifier will help devices in the $70 to $100 range sound better are much louder volumes.

Alongside the QSC400, Qualcomm today also announced the Qualcomm DDFA (Direct Digital Feedback Amplifier) CSRA6640. This really-badly-named part can provide up to 40 watts of power through a single channel or 20 watts through two speakers. The 6640 can be daisy-chained together for devices that require multiple input/output options.

There are two key innovations in this power amplifier. First, Qualcomm has reduced the number of needed components by about 50 percent. This won’t necessarily mean a bill-of-materials reduction of the same amount, but it will lead to savings on parts. Second, because it halved the number of components, the 6640 is much smaller than the previous generation power amplifier. Vitally, the 6640 does not require a heat sink. This gives device makers far more freedom to incorporate the amplifier into their devices.

Qualcomm also claims the 6640 has lower THD thanks to a double feedback loop. This means speakers powered by the 6640 will sound better at a higher volume, and drop buzzing during silent or low-volume operation to practically zero.

Competition for smart speakers is fierce and, according to Qualcomm, dependent for many on price. The 6640 should make it possible for device makers to differentiate by offering a better experience at a more affordable price point.

Qualcomm demonstrated this by pushing a Dolby movie clip through a sound bar with the two components working together. The sound bar was able to fill the room with an incredible amount of detailed sound, with all the bombastic boom you expect from your home theater.

Bottom line

Smart speakers that sound good and are portable are few and far between. Combining the QSC400 and 6640 in a single device should help bridge the gap.

Qualcomm says it is already working with partners to bring such smart, portable speakers to market starting in the third quarter of the year. Not only will these devices be compact and produce loud, high-quality sound, they’ll be far more responsive to voice input all while consuming less power.

This may sound like a dream, but it’s not too far out of reach.

 

 

Oppo’s ColorOS 6 gets a fresh paint job, optimizations, and an app drawer

  • Oppo’s ColorOS 6 is the latest version of the company’s custom Android skin.
  • ColorOS 6 takes better advantage of tall displays, includes performance-enhancing features, and a fresh paint job.
  • According to Oppo, the ColorOS 6 rollout is from April through September.

Earlier today, Oppo announced ColorOS 6. Available on the Oppo F11 Pro, ColorOS 6 is the latest version of Oppo’s custom Android skin.

Starting with the looks, ColorOS 6 opts for “border-less” symmetry that’s based on invisible lines and grids. That means stock apps now offer a proper full-screen experience with cleaner borders and other UI elements.

Oppo also takes “lighter” very literally with ColorOS 6 — much like Google’s Material Design refresh, Oppo’s stock apps feature plenty of white. Thanks to ColorOS’ theme engine, you can paint over the white with a different theme that might offer more colors.

ColorOS 6 includes other functional changes. These changes include the navigation panel now including shortcuts, an app drawer that’s accessible with an up-swipe on the home screen, “AI cold storage” that uses AI to freeze background apps and reduce power consumption, and “remote guard” for parents that want to monitor their children’s phone usage.

Editor’s Pick

Elsewhere, ColorOS 6’s Touch Boost feature promises up to 22 percent faster touch response. Meanwhile, Frame Boost offers up to a 40-percent improvement in frame rate stability. The two features are part of ColorOS 6’s Game Boost 2.0, which lets you change your voice for in-game voice chat, Dolby Sound support, and more.

In addition to game performance, ColorOS 6 also improves general performance and app launches with System Boost and App Boost. There’s also an improved night mode for camera stills, app notification bundling that groups similar notifications together, and much more.

As mentioned, ColorOS 6 is available out of the box for the Oppo F11 Pro. ColorOS 6 then heads to the first Oppo Reno smartphone, which launches April 10. Next up are the Oppo R15 and R15 Dream Mirror Edition, which will get the software skin sometime in April.

The Oppo Find X, R17, and R17 Pro will then get ColorOS 6 in August. Finally, the Oppo R11, R11 Plus, R11s, R11s Plus, A7x, and A3 will get ColorOS 6 in September.

All existing Realme will also get ColorOS 6 by June.

The Jetson Nano is Nvidia’s new $99 AI computer for everyone

Nvidia has been in the machine learning and AI game for a number of years now. The company launched the Jetson TX1 “Supercomputer-on-Module” back in 2015 as an embedded solution for robots, drones, and self-driving vehicles that need to do a lot of visual computing. It was the start of a whole range of “AI” products from Nvidia that has proved to be successful. Nvidia says there are hundreds of thousands of Jetson developers today. While it was a workable solution for commercial enterprises, its $599 price tag meant it was often too costly for makers, hobbyists, and amateur enthusiasts.

Related

Today that has all changed with the launch of the Jetson Nano, a $99 AI computing development kit that opens the way to a Raspberry Pi-like revolution — this time for machine learning.

The secret sauce in Nvidia’s AI products is, of course, its GPUs. The Jetson TX1 used a 1024-GFLOP Maxwell GPU with 256 CUDA cores. The TX2 offers 1.3 TFLOPs using a 256-core Pascal GPU, and the top-of-the-range Jetson AGX Xavier breaks 10 TFLOPs with its 512-core Nvidia Volta GPU. But the  Jetson AGX Xavier also breaks the $1,000 barrier as well! For the $99 Jetson Nano, Nvidia has opted for a 128 CUDA core GPU, based on the Maxwell architecture. It offers 472 GFLOPs.

Supporting the GPU is a 64-bit quad-core Arm Cortex-A57-based CPU, 4GB of RAM, a video processor — which can handle up to 4K 30fps encode or 4K 60fps decode — and support for PCIE and USB 3.0.

The video capabilities of the Jetson Nano are impressive. The idea isn’t that you can watch 4K video, but rather that the unit can process multiple video streams (think about drones with multiple cameras) for object detection, tracking, and obstacle avoidance. While 4K 60fps sounds nice, the Jetson Nano is capable of decoding eight video/camera feeds at Full HD at 30 frames per second! Once decoded the streams can be processed simultaneously by the machine learning algorithms for object tracking etc.

Also read: How to build your own digital assistant with Raspberry Pi

The Jetson Nano comes in two forms. A module — which measures just 70 x 45mm — for use in final production ready designs, and a development kit that resembles a Raspberry Pi and offers a turnkey solution for developers and enthusiasts. The former comes with 16GB of eMMC on-board storage while the latter uses a microSD card.

Unlike previous iterations of the Jetson platform, Nvidia foresees two distinct (but related) uses of the Jetson Nano. On one hand, the development kit will be useful for commercial organizations that want to build products with machine learning capabilities. The product can be designed using the development kit and then for the final product the modules is used. This is how the other Jetson boards and modules are used. The second use case is for enthusiasts and hobbyists who may never use the module version but are happy to create projects based around the development kit, much like the Raspberry Pi.

To that end, Nvidia is ready to sell both the modules and the development kits, not just via wholesale distributors, but to a wider market via more conventional outlets.

Raspberry Pi killer?

The Raspberry Pi uses a quad-core Cortex-A53 based processor and comes with a maximum of 1GB of RAM. While it can be fun for running simple Python scripts and other basic tasks, it can be painful to use as a desktop environment. The Jetson Nano has a quad-core Cortex-A57 based CPU and 4GB of RAM. That should mean it should be at least twice as fast a the Raspberry Pi for non-machine learning tasks. Plus, the extra RAM should allow it to run a desktop environment more smoothly.

Related: Learn how to develop Android apps at the DGiT Academy!

On top of that, the Jetson Nano comes with 40 GPIO pins, just like the Raspberry Pi. While Nvidia doesn’t specifically specify Raspberry Pi compatibility, it does say that the Jetson Nano is “compatible out of the box with many peripherals and other add-ons.” There is also support for the Adafruit Blinka library and the Raspberry Pi Camera V2. The board boots to a full Linux desktop environment via Linux4Tegra, which is derived from Ubuntu 18.04

In other words, the Jetson Nano is just like a Raspberry Pi, but better, stronger, faster! Add all the ML goodness on top and you have a potential game changer.

JetBot

To demonstrate the board’s capabilities Nvidia is launching the JetBot, an open-source AI project based on Jetson Nano. It comes complete with a bill of materials, hardware setup guide, and tutorials. The idea is that anyone with some basic Python skills should be able to build the small robot and learn all about motor control, camera image acquisition, and and AI training by teaching JetBot to follow objects, avoid collisions, etc.

Multiple devices, same software

One reason why the Raspberry Pi has been so successful, compared to other Arm based Single Board Computers, is that the software is always been updated. There are way too many boards which offer initial support for a version of Linux and then the distribution is never updated or upgraded. No security fixes, no new packages, and certainly no new versions of the kernel.

Nvidia understands this and is doing a good job of keeping it software current and relevant. The Jetson TX1 supported Linux 3.10 and used Ubuntu 14.04. Over time, support fort kernel 4.4 was added followed by kernel 4.9. Likewise, the base Ubuntu distribution has been upgraded from 14.04 to 16.04 and now 18.04.

This means Nvidia is offering a unified development environment across all of its Jetson boards. You could start developing a project on the Jetson Nano, but then if you need more GPU power then an upgrade to a more advanced Jetson board will incur little or no penalty from a software perspective.

It looks like the Jetson Nano could be a fantastic board. The price is good, the general computing performance is significantly better than Raspberry Pi, the machine learning features (both software and hardware) are excellent, and the the potential compatibility with existing hats and sensors means hobbyists can use (and improve) existing projects. I should be getting my hands on a board very soon, so watch out for a full review here and on the Gary Explains YouTube channel.

Affiliate disclosure: We may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. See our disclosure policy for more details.

Discover skills in machine learning & data science for just $35

Machine Learning and Data Science Certification Training Bundle

Machine learning and data science are big players in the tech sphere these days. If you want a career in tech, you might want to get proactive and find out all you can now.

That’s what makes the Machine Learning and Data Science Certification Training Bundle such a great opportunity. It gives you the chance to learn about this fascinating field of study, but lets you do it on your own schedule.

Students who purchase this package will receive lifetime access to eight online courses that’ll spell it all out in terms that are easy to follow. There are no classroom schedules, no exams, and you’re free to go at your own pace.

No classroom schedules, no exams, and you’re free to go at your own pace.

Best of all, you won’t have to spend a small fortune on this training. Though the courses have a combined value of $1,600, you’ll pay a promotional price of just $35 for bundling them all together.

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Machine learning and data sciences already play an important role in a number of fields and their involvement will only increase over time.

Find out what it’s all about with the Machine Learning and Data Science Certification Training Bundle, on offer for just $35 for a limited time.

The AAPicks team writes about things we think you’ll like, and we may see a share of revenue from any purchases made through affiliate links. To see all our hottest deals, head over to the AAPICKS HUB.

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Leaked renders show off what could be the Samsung Galaxy A40

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus Samsung logo (18 of 18)

With the Samsung Galaxy A10, A30, and A50 already going official in February, WinFuture earlier today published renders of what could be the Samsung Galaxy A40.

Based on the alleged renders, the Galaxy A40 features an Infinity-U display with an Essential Phone-like notch up top. The renders also reveal a headphone jack next to the USB-C port, a plastic back, and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor.

Interestingly, the renders show off a dual rear camera system. That runs counter to a previous report, which alleged that the Galaxy A40 features three rear cameras.


Elsewhere, the Galaxy A40 reportedly features a 5.7-inch display, Samsung’s in-house octa-core Exynos 7885 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a 4,000mAh battery, and Android 9 Pie. A previous report pegged a larger 6.4-inch display and the octa-core Exynos 7904 processor.

Editor’s Pick

Samsung will hold an event April 10, when the company will reportedly announce the Galaxy A40 alongside the rumored Galaxy A60 and A90. According to rumors, the Galaxy A90 is Samsung’s budget flagship and features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, a pop-out camera system, and an in-display fingerprint sensor.

As for the Galaxy A40, the phone reportedly comes in black, blue, coral, and white. Don’t expect to pay very much for the Galaxy A40 — the phone will reportedly sell for 250 euros (~$283).