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Amazon announced the fitness smartwatch band called Halo and a subscription service by the same name

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Amazon is getting into wearables, but its new device, called Halo, is far from a traditional fitness tracker. In fact, Amazon Halo doesn’t have a screen at all.

The online giant’s new wristband prioritizes health more than anything, with features such as activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and more. What makes Halo unique is its ability to track a wearer’s emotional state by listening to the tone of their voice, and also estimate a user’s body fat percentage by taking a three-dimensional render of their body.

It’s a departure from today’s most popular wearables, which offer general activity tracking features and also provide smartphone notifications for things like messages and phone calls. Also a departure from traditional wearables is Halo’s lack of GPS, Wi-Fi, and a cellular radio. It does, however, feature water resistance up to 5ATM and a battery that should last a week.

Amazon Halo also features an accelerometer, temperature sensor, heart rate monitor, two microphones, and an LED indicator light. These microphones are strictly for the voice tone feature and not for invoking Alexa, which isn’t supported. These microphones can be turned off with the press of a button.

The voice tone feature is particularly interesting. Amazon says Halo will pick up on the pitch, intensity, rhythm, and tempo of your voice, and then return insights into your emotional state. With a “notable moments” section in the smartphone app, you’ll see what you were like during an interview, conversation with mom, etc. According to Amazon, Halo won’t listen to your voice all the time, and when it does, no audio is uploaded to Amazon servers; humans are also not involved in any step of the way. Audio is sent to your phone via Bluetooth, and all analysis is handled there.

The 3D body scan feature is handled differently. When a user does create a 3D scan, pictures will be uploaded to Amazon’s servers but are deleted once a 3D scan is created. Amazon will employ machine learning models to analyze the scan and calculate your body fat percentage.

Amazon is hoping these features will be educational and motivational, providing users with information about how different levels of body fat can increase their risk for certain health problems. Users have to be 18 years or older to use the body scan feature, although users can be as young as 13 to use Halo.Halo app’s main screenHalo’s body scanning feature that calculates body fat percentageHalo guessing your emotional state from your voiceHalo’s activity trackerHalo’s sleep tracker

Amazon Halo retails for $99 and ties into a service that costs $3.99 per month. This subscription will feature body composition, tone of voice analysis, sleep and activity tracking, and challenges designed to improve a wearer’s health, whether it be through things like meditation or exercise. As an introductory price, Halo will be available for $64 and come with six months of complimentary service.

Amazon Halo Bands

At launch, Amazon Halo will offer a variety of bands and also a variety of sizes. Halo comes in small, medium, and large, so you can find a fit that works for you. Amazon Halo is currently available in early access in Black + Onyx, Blush + Rose Gold, and Winter + Silver. The product can only ship to addresses in the United States.

Amazon Halo Technical Details

Amazon Halo Product Details

Subscription $99.99 device price with six month free subscription. After six months, your subscription will automatically renew at $3.99/month plus applicable tax. See terms of service to learn more.
Battery life Up to 7 days (Tone disabled), up to 2 days (Tone enabled). Fully charges from 0% in less than 90 minutes. Battery life varies based on device settings and usage.
Water resistance Swimproof; water resistant to 50M (5 atm). Learn more about water resistance.
Halo band/sensor colors Black/Onyx, Winter/Silver, and Blush/Rose Gold
Band sizes Fabric: Small (135-155 mm circumference), Medium (145-180mm circumference), Large (170-220 mm circumference), Sport: Small/Medium (130-180 mm circumference), Medium/Large (160-230 mm circumference)
Band material Fabric: a woven blend of polyester, nylon, and spandex, Sport: high-performance silicone
Weight Capsule: 18g, Band: 5.2g (S), 5.4g (M), 6.0g (L)
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0 compatible, Serial Port Profile for Bluetooth connectivity to Android phones and iPod Accessory Protocol for Bluetooth connectivity to iPhones.
Audio 2 built-in microphones for Tone analysis
Warranty 1-year limited warranty. Use of Amazon Halo is subject to Amazon’s Conditions of Use and the terms found here.
Included in box Sensor, band, USB charging clip, and Quick Start Guide
Generation 1st Generation – 2020 Release
Bands Interchangeable and available in a variety of colors and materials
Requirements Active Amazon.com account, compatible mobile device, and the Halo app

Google launches the final beta of its mobile operating system

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With the launch of Android  11 getting closer, Google today launched the third and final beta of its mobile operating system ahead of its general availability. Google  had previously delayed the beta program by about a month because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Since Android 11 had already reached platform stability with Beta 2, most of the changes here are fixes and optimizations. As a Google spokesperson noted, “this beta is focused on helping developers put the finishing touches on their apps as they prepare for Android 11, including the official API 30 SDK and build tools for Android Studio.”

The one exception is some updates to the Exposure Notification Systemcontact-tracing API, which users can now use without turning on device location settings. Exposure Notification is an exception here, as all other Android apps need to have location settings on (and user permission to access it) to perform the kind of Bluetooth scanning Google is using for this API.

Otherwise, there are no surprises here, given that this has already been a pretty lengthy preview cycle. Mostly, Google really wants developers to make sure their apps are ready for the new version, which includes quite a few changes.

If you are brave enough, you can get the latest beta over the air as part of the Android Beta program. It’s available for Pixel 2, 3, 3a, 4 and (soon) 4a users.

Microsoft ‘Your Samsung Phone’ App Now Allows To Add Mobile Apps To PC

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Samsung’s partnership with Microsoft has resulted in a handful of exclusive features for Galaxy devices in the Your Phone app for Windows 10, including cloud clipboard sync and file drag-and-drop support. Today, Samsung announced an expansion of the partnership, adding even more features to the app.

Most notably, it will now be possible to access your smartphone apps from your PC, and you can even pin them to the taskbar and Start as if they were Windows apps for quick access. You can access social media or other apps this way, and it might be useful considering many services don’t have apps for Windows. For now, only one app can be used at a time, but you’ll be able to open multiple apps side by side later this year.

Additionally, the companies are making so that many of Samsung’s built-in apps sync with Microsoft services. Samsung Notes will sync with OneNote and Outlook, and with features like autosave, so everything is saved to the cloud automatically. The Reminders app also syncs with Outlook, To Do, and Teams, so Microsoft’s services are deeply tied into Samsung phones. Both of these features will be available later this year.

Of course, Samsung and Microsoft are also partnering on Xbox, and the Galaxy Note20 has features like AI game booster and a 240Hz touch sampling rate on the display of the Note20 Ultra, which will help with cloud gaming features in Game Pass, which are set to arrive on 15th September. However, there doesn’t seem to be anything exclusive to Samsung devices in this regard, at least for now.

Realme’s Ultra-Thin Super Dart chargers 65W and 50W are coming soon in India

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Yesterday Madhav has tweeted in his account revealing that Realme is planning to launch 65W and 50W Ultra-thin Super Dart chargers in India soon. The image attached to the post shows the illustrated images of the chargers. Previously Realme has already released the 125W Ultra Dart Charger in India that according to the company can charge 33% of a 4,000mAh battery in just 3 minutes.

@MadhavSheth1
We will soon introduce the 65W and 50W #realme Ultra-thin #SuperDart Chargers. More easy to carry and use. #TechTrendsetter

Oppo has also released a total of four different types of chargers starting from 50W mini charger to 125W ultra-fast chargers. So we can expect the same 65W and 50W mini chargers will be introduced in India under the brand name Realme.

  1. 65W AirVOOC Wireless Charger: This is a wireless charger, it will be round in shape. This charger will be capable of charging 100% of a 4,000mAh smartphone battery in just 30 minutes.
  2. 50W mini SuperVOOC Charger: This is a mini charger of 50W but it is not mentioned what kind of charger it is.

The above-mentioned chargers are from Oppo and the specs are quite impressive. These same charging techs will also be used in the upcoming Realme’s Ultra-Thin chargers.

Rival Brand iQOO Suddenly Unveiled Its 120W Ultra-Fast Charging Technology

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The second half of the year has just started, and the Chinese smartphone brands have begun announcing their next-generation fast charging technologies. OPPO confirmed that it will be launching the 125W super flash charge technology on Wednesday.

We don’t expect Oppo to announce a new smartphone featuring 125W fast charging on July 15. 

However, rival brand iQOO suddenly unveiled its 120W Ultra-Fast charging technology today. The new charging tech from the brand can completely a charge 4,000mAh battery phone in just 15 minutes.

iQOO already offers fast charging solutions such as 33W, 44W, and 55W on its smartphones. The Chinese brand today unveiled the 120W Ultra-Fast rapid charging technology that promises to charge 50 percent of a 4,000mAh battery in 5 minutes and it can be fully charged in 15 minutes.

iQOO 120W ultra-fast charging

Vivo had unveiled its 120W FlashCharge technology at the Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2019 tech exhibition last year. However, it was not a commercial announcement. Also, the technology is yet to be mass-produced. Hence, today’s announcement by iQOO can be called as the world’s first 120W fast charging technology.

At the launch event, the iQOO Product Manager demonstrated the 120W rapid charging tech. The 4,000mAh battery phone has a dual battery system featuring an industry-first 6C cell, each one measuring 2,000mAh in size. Both batteries charge at 5V/12A (60W) by means of a customized chip to achieve a total charging speed of 120W with 97 percent charging conversion rate.

For safety and stability, the charging adapter will come equipped with array type pole structure cell impedance. Phones featuring the 120W ultra-fast charging will come with super VC liquid cooling technology to regulate the internal temperature of the device.

According to a leakster, a mysterious iQOO phone with 120W ultra-fast charging is already in works. He claims to have seen the measured data before and he found that the charging tech can fast enough to achieve 80 percent battery capacity in just minutes.

He revealed that the mysterious iQOO phone’s mass production has started, and it will debut next month. Could it be the rumored Snapdragon 865+ powered iQOO Pro 3 5G phone? Hopefully, new leaks will reveal the identity of the device in the coming days.

The All Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Series To Reportedly Launch On August 5

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It’s been a while since Samsung debuted the all-new Samsung Galaxy S20 series that put forward the vision the Korean company had for the next decade. Now, if a new report is to be believed, we’ll be seeing the launch of the next products that envelop this vision – the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series – on August 5.

The new report comes from credible tipster @UniverseIce who has given accurate reports on upcoming Samsung devices in the past. According to him, the launch event will take place on August 5. This corroborates with a previous report by Jon Prosser.

Apart from the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series, we’re also expected to see a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G. While initial rumours suggested the launch of a “Galaxy Fold Lite”, a new report suggests that the launch might have been pushed to 2021 now.

Apart from phones, we might even see Samsung announce the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and the next-gen, bean-shaped truly wireless earbuds.

Coming back to the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series, Samsung is expected to announce two models like it did last year. The more-expensive “Note 20 Ultra” is expected to have a similar camera array as the S20 Ultra but will have an upgraded 120Hz LTPO display that will lead to better power efficiency.

A leaked image of what seems to be the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 20. (Credits: Samsung Russia)

We recently even got an official first look at what is rumoured to be the upcoming Galaxy Note 20 Ultra when Samsung’s Russian arm posted renders of the phone on its Galaxy Note 10 page. Coloured in metallic brown, the phone looked every bit gorgeous.

UniverseIce even had a go on the pricing of the upcoming phones and said the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra might cost $1,299 while the lower-end Samsung Galaxy Note 20 might cost $999. While the Note 20 Ultra, at $1,299, will be undoubtedly expensive, it’ll still be cheaper than the launch price of $1,399 of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra.

Although all said and done, it’s best to take this information with a pinch of salt. If the event is actually taking place on August 5, it won’t be too long before Samsung starts sending out invites for the event that is expected to be online-only, thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak.

OPPO Reno 4 Series Is Coming Soon To India

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The fourth instalment in the Reno series has been announced in China and the OPPO Reno 4 series has been confirmed to soon make its way to India. The OPPO Reno 4 series consists of the OPPO Reno 4 and the OPPO Reno 4 Pro and are both powered by the 5G-integrated Snapdragon 765 SoC and might happen to be the first phones in India with this “upper mid-range” processor from Qualcomm.

The OPPO Reno 4 Pro and the Reno 4 are quite similar phones with a few differences. To start with, the Reno 4 Pro has a curved 90Hz 6.5-inch FullHD+ AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate while the Reno 4 gets a 6.4-inch FullHD+ AMOLED display with a dual punch-hole setup (the Pro has a single punch-hole).

The curved AMOLED display on the OPPO Reno 4 Pro.

While both phones make use of triple-camera setups at the back, the sensors differ. The OPPO Reno 4 Pro’s setup consists of a 48MP primary camera (with OIS), a 12MP ultrawide camera, and a 13MP telephoto camera while the Reno 4’s setup consists of a 48MP primary camera, an 8MP ultrawide camera, and a 2MP monochromatic sensor. The cameras have support for ‘Ultra Night Video”, “Ultra Steady Video 3.0”, “Front Steady Video”, and “Hyperlapse”, amongst other camera-centric features.

The Pro has a single 32MP selfie camera whereas the regular Reno 4 has a dual-camera setup for selfies that consists of a 32MP primary camera and an additional 2MP sensor.

The OPPO Reno4 series has support for 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 that can charge the phone in a mere 36 minutes.

Being a part of the Reno series, the Reno4 also bring in some eye-catching changes in terms design. The new design that OPPO calls the ‘Reno Glow’ design that has a frosted finish. The Reno 4 Pro will be available in Galactic Blue, Sparkling Red, Space Black, Space White, and Green Glitter colourways.

The OPPO Reno 4 Pro comes with up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage and starts at CNY 3,799 (~INR 40,500). The OPPO Reno 4, on the other hand, comes with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage and is priced at CNY 3,299 (~INR 35,200). Both phones come with Android 10 out of the box with ColorOS 7 on top.

The Indian variant of the OPPO Reno 4 series is said to have exclusive features tailored just for the Indian market. At the moment there’s no official word on when these phones will come to India.

Alongside the Reno 4 Pro series, OPPO also announced the OPPO Enco W51 Truly Wireless Earphones, the OPPO Band, and a smart connection hub, dubbed, the OPPO 5G CPE T1.

Google’s New ‘Bedtime Tools’ To Help Tackle Messed-Up Sleep Schedules

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Let’s face it. Our sleep schedules have been messed up of late and cordoned within the four walls of our house has made it easier than ever to lose track of time. Google knows this too. According to them, sleep-related searches like “insomnia” and “can’t sleep” have reached all-time highs in March and April. To help address some of these issues, Google is rolling out new bedtime tools that will help you manage your sleep better.

Bedtime Mode

Formerly known as Wind Down, Bedtime Mode reminds you when its time to sleep by making use of grayscale and putting the phone on DND automatically. The new update makes it easier to customize how and when you turn it on. You can either set it to switch on automatically according to your bedtime schedule or choose to turn it on when your phones put to charge.

Image Credit: Google

Users can now also add a dedicated tile in the quick settings panel to instantly turn on bedtime mode instead of having to dig into settings and turning it on.

Bedtime Mode is available on all devices with Digital Wellbeing and parental controls settings.

Updated Clock Application

The Clock application also gets a few new tricks up its sleeves. The Clock app now gets a new Bedtime tab that lets you set daily sleep and wake times. Not only that, but the app also integrates your Google Calendar and gives you a preview of tomorrow in case you need to tweak your bedtime in accordance.

Image Credit: Google

Once you approach your bedtime, the clock application will send a reminder and give you an option to play calming sounds from Spotify, Calm, YouTube Music and more. If you have digital wellbeing installed on your device, the application can be paired with Bedtime mode to limit interruptions.

Lastly, there is a new ‘Sunrise Alarm’ that, apart from giving visual cues 15 minutes prior to your alarm, will also allow you to select the audio you’d like to wake up with.

The new Clock app is currently only available for Pixel devices but will soon roll out to Android devices later this summer.

Family Link

If you’re keen on keeping a tab on the bedtime schedule of your kids, Family Link will help you do so. Family Link is a standalone application (also available on iOS) that can let you control what your children do on their Android smartphones. You can manage their screen time activity, application downloads, in-app purchases and even set bedtime schedules.

Image Credit: Google

The bedtime schedules can be customized to be different for weekdays and weekends. And even though your children’s device will be locked when its time for bed, they’ll still be able to call out in case they need to get in touch with you.

Lastly, Google is also rolling out bedtime reminders within the YouTube application that will remind you when it’s time for bed. The reminder can be set to pop up either at the time of bedtime or when the video you’re watching ends.

New Bounty Raid Event Gives PUBG Mobile’s Players A Chance To Win Rewards For 1 UC

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With the latest 0.18.0 update, PUBG Mobile added the reworked Miramar, Royale Pass Season 13, new weapons and mechanics to the game. It recently added a new Adventure mode with which players have a chance to play through the Classic mode selection screen, Mysterious Jungle.

Now, PUBG Mobile has introduced a new event called, 1-UC Bounty Raid which is a temporary reward system that gives players a chance to win rewards at the cost of its namesake, 1UC. Unknown Cash is an in-game currency that can be bought with money or earned by completing bonus challenges.

Join the bounty! 🎯

Enter the 1-UC Bounty Raid here 👉 https://pubgmobile.live/BountyRaid 

View image on Twitter

Unlike Lootboxes where players can get a reward from a catalogue of in-game items, this reward system is like a lottery. During the 1-UC Bounty Raid event, players have the option to buy a Bounty Voucher for any reward that is available in the event.

If a voucher is bought for any reward available in 1-UC Bounty Raid, the player now has a chance at winning that particular reward. Players can buy multiple vouchers to increase their chances of winning the reward. Each reward has a requirement of participants, which when met with a player, will be drawn at random who will receive the reward.

Players can also see the number of participants in the draw and chances of winning the draw. While each drawing will feature a single winner, all the players that have participated by purchasing a bounty voucher will receive 10 BP or 2 AG per voucher.

The 1-UC Bounty Raid event will end on June 19. Until then, the vouchers for each individual reward will be reset and a new draw will start after the winner is announced. Winners of the rewards can access them through the in the ‘Events’ section or in the ‘Mail’ section after the event ends. The items won will remain in player’s inventory permanently.

Address that isn’t easy to locate,Google’s Plus Codes will solve this problem

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Google Maps Plus Codes Will Help Users Share Locations Even Without An Address

Google is now making it easier to share addresses via Google Maps with Plus Codes. Instead of having to share addresses that include a building name, a street name, amongst various other could-be-misspelt parts, users will now be able to share addresses with a simple alphanumeric code.

According to Google, more than 2 billion people either don’t have an address or have an address that isn’t easy to locate. Google’s Plus Codes aims to solve this problem with a 6-digit alphanumeric code that will be able to “uniquely identify” any location on the map.

Plus Codes are derived from latitude and longitude coordinates and can hence pinpoint an exact location when searched on Google Maps. If you’re thinking about how this could be useful, let me give you an instance. My building doesn’t show up when searched for, despite having tried to ‘add a missing place’ to Google Maps. With Plus Codes, I could simply share the alphanumeric code instead of having to share the location of a nearby landmark and then guide the person on how they can find my building from that point.

This is just one instance but there are multiple situations where Plus Codes would be handy. For instance, Google notes how Plus Codes could be immensely useful in emergency and crisis situations where sharing one’s exact location is not as smooth as we’d like to be. With codes, Google aims at making sharing addresses as simple as sharing phone numbers.

How to find and share Plus Codes?

Google Plus Codes are now available for all addresses that you search for on Google Maps. You can find them right above the actual address when you open a listing on Maps.

Credit: Google

If you’re looking to find a Plus Code of a location you’re at, you can simply tap the blue dot on the map and find it sitting at the top of the menu. Plus Codes can be searched for on Google Maps and Google Search which makes them very easy to use.

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