Google is making changes to its Wear OS app review process that could improve the quality of software on the platform. It’s also reportedly working on a fitness coach/assistant for wearables. Put together, it sure seems like the company is preparing for some sort of wearable release. Google said yesterday that Wear OS apps will have to go through a mandatory “light review process,” perhaps in an effort to improve the Play Store offerings ahead of announcing a rumored Pixel Watch in October. The reviews of new apps start on October 1st while reviews for existing apps will begin March 4th, 2019.
Google already offers an optional review, which it rolled out with Android Wear 2.0, but it says this new process is designed to improve the app quality and presentation. The most common issue, it says, has to do with screen size because Wear OS apps are available for both square and round displays, which might also include various bezels.
VentureBeat reporter and frequent gadget leaker Evan Blass said to expect a new Google smartwatch this fall, and now, Android Police has published additional rumors about a feature called Google Coach.
The service would recommend workout routines, track your progress, and recommend alternatives if you miss a workout. It would also log your activity and maybe even suggest healthy meal options. It could create a meal plan, too, and a shopping list. Of course, because it’s Google, Android Police says much of this functionality would rely on all the data the company has about individual users: access to their calendar; location; and, with wearables, maybe even health indicators, like heart rate. This sounds like a feature that would better help Google take on the Apple Watch and Fitbit, but it’s unclear whether it’ll show up at the fall event or if it’ll ultimately happen at all.
Triumph Street Triple RS and Tiger 800 get connected technology
Connected technology is fast becoming a standard feature in most premium motorcycles over the last few years. In line with this, several companies have started retrofitting their old models with the latest-generation connected tech to compete with new rivals. One such company is Triumph which has been equipping its older models with new technology. The British motorcycle maker recently revealed that Street Triple RS and Tiger 800 are now available with the My Triumph connectivity system. The company noted that the two bikes can now be fitted with a TFT instrument console which will provide a host of features like telephony, turn-by-turn navigation, etc.
This new feature is available for older models as the BS6 variant already gets the connected technology. Triumph noted that Street Triple RS manufactured between 2017 and 2019 can be retrofitted with the new instrument console and connectivity features. And as for the Tiger 800, the ADV bikes with model years between 2018 to 2019 can be upgraded with the My Triumph connectivity system.
Triumph’s My Triumph connectivity system works alongside the My Triumph app that has been developed as a result of Google’s first partnership with a premium motorcycle brand. This app allows riders to wirelessly pair their smartphone with the motorcycle’s console and access features like turn-by-turn navigation with voice guidance available through a Bluetooth headset is connected. The app also uses built-in what3words functionality to navigate to an exact three-meter.
Another major advantage offered by the My Triumph suite is that it lets riders control the GoPro camera using the TFT console and switchgear. Besides these, the connected tech offers provisions like make/receive calls, check SMS, and control music through the left side switchgear. And let’s not forget that there’s also a dedicated My Garage feature in the My Triumph app that provides information like odometer, average fuel consumption, scheduled service date on the smartphone. Triumph noted that the existing Street Triple RS and Tiger 800 customers will be able to retrofit their bikes with the TFT instrument cluster and connected technology from 21 December 2020. And in case you own a Triumph Tiger 1200, then the retrofit package will be available to you next year.
Google just put a photo of the Pixel 4A on its store
Where is Google’s Pixel 4A? Sitting right on the company’s online store, as it turns out. Google seems to have mistakenly published an image of the Pixel 4A on its Canadian store. The text says “Nest Wifi,” but uh… that’s no Nest Wifi. The phone has already leaked substantially over the last few months, but this is marketing render direct from Google — and suggests that the 4A might finally be coming sometime in the near future.
Note also that the screen has a date of May 12th on it, which is pretty solid confirmation that Google did originally plan to launch the 4A during its annual developer’s conference before it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 4A seen in the photo has a matte black finish with a light blue power button and the large camera cutout we’ve seen in prior leaks; there’s just one camera in there, though. Thankfully the headphone jack is still up there at the top. The phone is believed to have passed through the Federal Communications Commission last month, another sign that its release is coming closer. Whenever it does finally go on sale, the Pixel 4A is expected to be followed by the Pixel 5 sometime later this year. A 5G-compatible version of the 4A was also uncovered in the code for Google’s search app last week. But it seems like Google might be ditching a potential 5 XL, similar to how it has stuck with a single size for the 4A.
Unofficial preliminary specifications thanks to gsmarena.com
|NETWORK||Technology||GSM / HSPA / LTE|
|LAUNCH||Announced||Not announced yet|
|SIM||Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|DISPLAY||Type||IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||5.81 inches, 82.9 cm2|
|Resolution||1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~444 ppi density)|
|Chipset||Qualcomm SDM730 Snapdragon 730 (8 nm)|
|CPU||Octa-core (2×2.2 GHz Kryo 470 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 470 Silver)|
|Internal||64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM|
|MAIN CAMERA||Single||12.2 MP, (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS|
|Features||LED flash, Auto-HDR, panorama|
|Video||[email protected], [email protected]/60/120fps; gyro-EIS|
|SELFIE CAMERA||Single||8 MP, 24mm (wide)|
|COMMS||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||5.0, A2DP, LE|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO|
|USB||Type-C 1.0 reversible connector|
|FEATURES||Sensors||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, proximity, compass|
|BATTERY||Non-removable Li-Po 3080 mAh battery|
|Charging||Fast charging 18W|
|MISC||Colors||Just Black, Barely Blue|
|Price||About 400 EUR|
Unfortunately, there are no surprises here. The Google Pixel 4a renders look exactly as we expected with the single selfie camera cutout on the front, the single lens in the Pixel 4 camera module on the back, a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, and an all-black colorway. Still, if there were any lingering doubts about what the phone would look like, you can now dash them away. Google still hasn’t formally announced a launch date for the Pixel 4a. However, with images popping up mistakenly on its own website, it certainly can’t be too far off now.
TikTok a Chinese Social App Is a Cybersecurity Threat
The United States government is considering banning TikTok because it views the hugely popular social media app as a security threat, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The video app, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, has an estimated 65-80 million active monthly users in the U.S., who share 15-second videos with quick edits, music, and filters.TikTok has exploded in the last year, with over 175 million downloads in the U.S. and over 1 billion users worldwide. But since last fall, U.S. lawmakers have been calling for an investigation of TikTok’s relationship with its parent company and the Chinese government and of whether those reported ties pose a counterintelligence threat in America.
Pompeo told Fox News the Trump administration is “certainly looking” at banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok.In response, a TikTok spokesperson told ABC News Tuesday the company is “led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the U.S. We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users.” Pompeo cast TikTok as a security threat, accusing it of sharing users’ data with the Chinese government. When asked by Fox’s Laura Ingraham Monday night if he would recommend that people download the app, he responded, “Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
But the TikTok spokesperson denied that was true: “We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked.” The company is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese tech firm that also started travel search and real estate search sites and is considered one of the world’s most valuable start-ups. TikTok has tried to distance itself from ByteDance, saying on its website that it “does business through subsidiaries of ByteDance Ltd., which is backed by global institutional investors.”
It also announced Monday it would remove the app from Hong Kong because of the Chinese government’s new national security law, which gives Beijing tighter control of the territory that was supposed to be semi-autonomous, including requiring tech companies there to hand over user data if requested. But Pompeo has cast virtually all Chinese companies as a security threat because of the Chinese internet security law, which allows the government to request access to their data. He did not provide specific evidence Monday that the Chinese government has requested that information from TikTok.
TikTok has become enormously popular amid coronavirus shutdowns across the U.S., with users spending an estimated 52 minutes each day and the number of unique visitors growing exponentially between January and April, according to Wallaroo Media, a digital advertising firm. Videos automatically play one after the other, ranging from attempts at viral dance moves to the comedian Sarah Cooper’s mocking lip-sync performances as President Donald Trump, which has earned her over 3 million likes. Cooper’s PR did not respond to questions about the administration’s possible ban. Last week, India banned the app amid growing tensions with China over a disputed border area high in the Himalaya mountains, casting it and 58 other Chinese-owned apps as security concerns that the Chinese government could exploit.
Australian officials have also said they are considering a ban.
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