Alphabet's Google has struck a $1.1bn (£822m) deal with Taiwan's HTC to expand its smartphone business.
Google will not take a stake in the firm, but some HTC staff will join the Silicon Valley giant.
The Taiwanese company was once a major player in the smartphone market but has struggled to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung.
Google expects the deal to close by early 2018, provided it gets the all clear from regulators.
Shares in HTC were suspended in Taiwan on Thursday.
Betting on hardware
The deal marks the latest move by Google to boost its hardware capabilities.
"It's still early days for Google's hardware business," the firm's senior vice-president of hardware Rick Osterloh said in a blog post on Google's website.
Under the deal, Google will acquire a team of people who develop Pixel smartphones for the US company and receive a non-exclusive license for HTC's intellectual property.
It builds on an existing partnership between the two tech companies.
"These future fellow Googlers are amazing folks we've already been working with closely on the Pixel smartphone line," Mr Osterloh said.
According to HTC half their smartphone research and development team - about 2,000 people - will go to Google.
HTC manufactured Google's first smartphones, the Pixel and Pixel XL, last year. The company will release updated version of the devices next month.
A new mobile phone can now cost more per month than a new car, automotive analysts Sophus3 have discovered – and it expects to see more new car deals with monthly payments less than a smartphone before the end of the year.
It’s all thanks to the launch of the new Apple iPhoneX, currently offered on a monthly payment deal by EE for £82 a month.
A Suzuki Celerio, however, can today be bought from a UK dealer for £79 a month. The firm thus believes “Europe has seen its first car cheaper than a phone”.
Be Careful and make sure iOS11 is not going to break your bank!
12-megapixel images and 4K videos captured on your iPhone take up quite a bit of storagespace. For most people, there’s no point allowing iOS to gobble up cellular data just to keep the image library synchronized with iCloud at all times.
Thankfully, you can prevent this from happening, and here’s how:
1) Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or cellular iPad.
This device will no longer use your carrier’s cellular data for updating the Photos library. Any changes to your image library will automatically upload to iCloud as soon as the device connects to power and Wi-Fi.
TIP: If you really need Photos to be in perfect sync with iCloud at all times, even on the go, via cellular and Wi-Fi, be sure to slide the toggle labeled Unlimited Updates to the ON position.
I've been saying this for many years and now finally Apple confirm it
No, they aren't admitting their phones are daylight robbery, a nightmare to use, memory drainer, awkward, non user friendly, and good quality junk! They already know that :)
Rather, they are admitting that they do fool the people by slowing down their phones and are disguising it with an excuse!
Apple's iPhones slowed to tackle ageing batteries
Apple has confirmed the suspicions of many iPhone owners by revealing it does deliberately slow down some models of the iPhone as they age.
Many customers have long suspected that Apple slows down older iPhones to encourage people to upgrade.
The company has now said it does slow down some models as they age, but only because the phones' battery performance diminishes over time.
Apple said it wanted to "prolong the life" of customers' devices.
The practice was confirmed after a customer shared performance tests on Reddit, suggesting their iPhone 6S had slowed down considerably as it had aged but had suddenly sped up again after the battery had been replaced.
"I used my brother's iPhone 6 Plus, and his was faster than mine? This is when I knew something was wrong," wrote TeckFire.
Technology website Geekbench then analysed several iPhones running different versions of the iOS operating system and found some of them did indeed appear to have been deliberately slowed down.
What was Apple's response?
Apple has now confirmed that it made changes to iOS to manage ageing lithium-ion batteries in some devices, since the batteries' performance diminishes over time.
"Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, [when they] have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components," the company said.
"Last year, we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions.
"We've now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.
"Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers."
Why do lithium-ion batteries degrade?
Lithium batteries degrade over time because of what happens during the charging and discharging cycle.
During both those events, lithium ions migrate through the material forming the battery.
Studies using electron microscopes have shown that each time the ions do this they make tiny changes to the physical structure of that electrolyte.
The effect is like "rust creeping unevenly across steel", according to one scientist who has studied the phenomenon.
The changes effectively erode the material so it can hold less of a charge and can hamper its ability to provide a steady power supply.
Higher voltages make the erosion happen more quickly, as do higher temperatures.
Should Apple have told customers?
"By choosing to implement this quietly, it appears more nefarious than it really is. That doesn't engender trust," wrote developer and blogger Nick Heer.
"Apple has long been very good about managing expectations… this is an instance where they blew it. Needlessly, I think."
Replacing an old battery in one of the affected models should return the phone to its former speed. Doing so costs £79 in the UK and $79 (£59) in the US.
"They should be more transparent about it," said Chris Green from the tech consultancy Bright Bee.
"You're taking away performance that somebody has paid for. If you're going to slow down the phone over time, you should explain why it is happening, so people understand it is ultimately for their benefit.
"But I do see where they're coming from. By slowing the phone, it does help mitigate the problem of the diminishing battery."
I'd been having issues with my email (Exchange Active Sync - Mail) on the Android phone.
I was able to forward emails and send attachements but not type anything. As soon as I typed anything, the email app would crash. This was happening on all my accounts using the same app. Gmail was working fine/
This had been ongoing for a few days and tried everything to resolve the issue.
Turns out that Chrome had an update and they attempted to snoop into emails too and therefore crashing the app completely. To overcome this, I uninstalled the Chrome updates and Alhumdulillah, all back to normal for now.
Anyone over 13 can use the messaging app at the moment - but in a few weeks, the minimum age for users in Europe is increasing
WhatsApp is raising the minimum age limit of its users to 16 across Europe.
Users of the popular instant messaging service currently have to be at least 13 years old, but the company is enforcing stricter rules ahead of the introduction of new data privacy rules in the EU next month.
It is not clear how it will verify answers from users, given the limited data requested and held by the service.
WhatsApp, which had more than 1.5 billion users in January, said in a blog post that it will not be asking for any new rights to collect personal information in the agreement.
Facebook, which has a separate data policy, is taking a different approach to users aged between 13 and 15.
It will ask the teenager to nominate a parent or guardian to give permission for them to share information on the platform.
If permission is not provided, the user will not see a fully personalised version of the social network.
Other changes announced by WhatsApp include enabling users to download a report detailing the data it holds on them, such as the make and model of the device they use, their contacts and groups, and any blocked numbers.
WhatsApp, founded in 2009, has come under pressure because of its end-to-end encrypted messaging system and its now suspended plan to increase the data shared with Facebook so adverts could be more effectively targeted.
Facebook is under scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers around the world since disclosing last month that the personal information of millions of users wrongly ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.
Outside of Europe, the minimum age for using WhatsApp will remain 13.
Europe's General Data Protection Regulation - or GDPR for short - is the biggest overhaul of online privacy since the creation of the internet, giving Europeans the right to know what data is stored on them and the right to have it deleted.
A couple says that Amazon's Alexa recorded a private conversation and randomly sent it to a friend (AMZN)
A couple in Portland, Oregon, say that speakers in their home powered by Amazon's Alexa smart voice assistant recorded a private conversation and sent the recording to a person in their contacts.
A woman named Danielle says she and her husband got a call two weeks ago from the contact, who told them to immediately unplug all their devices because he had heard their conversation in his home 176 miles away in Seattle, KIRO-TV first reported. She said he proved it by providing details about the conversation, which was about hardwood floors.
Amazon told the news station: "Amazon takes privacy very seriously. We investigated what happened and determined this was an extremely rare occurrence. We are taking steps to avoid this from happening in the future."
"I felt invaded," Danielle told KIRO-TV. "A total privacy invasion. Immediately I said, 'I'm never plugging that device in again, because I can't trust it.'"
In a statement to Business Insider, Amazon explained exactly how it happened — the couple accidentally triggered Alexa's capability to send voice messages to friends and contacts.
“Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like 'Alexa.' Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a 'send message' request. At which point, Alexa said out loud 'To whom?' At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customers contact list. Alexa then asked out loud, '[contact name], right?' Alexa then interpreted background conversation as 'right'. As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely.”
Danielle said that after the person sent the recording, she and her husband unplugged each of the several Alexa devices in their house that they used to control things like their security system and lighting.
Danielle also said the device had not advised her that it was sending a recording of the conversation.
She said she called Amazon repeatedly until she was able to get in touch with an engineer, who apologized profusely and thanked her for bringing the incident to the company's attention but did not explain why the device sent the recording nor whether it was a widespread issue.
Danielle also says Amazon also offered to "de-provision" the Alexa-powered speakers, which basically means stripping their functions down to only smart-home features. She says Amazon has refused her requests to refund all of her devices.
This isn't the first time in recent memory that Alexa has come under scrutiny for unwanted behaviors. In March, Amazon had to adjust Alexa after finding it could laugh unsettlingly at random.
WHATSAPP TO STOP WORKING ON MILLIONS OF OLDER IPHONES AND ANDROID SMARTPHONES
Millions of people will no longer be able to use WhatsApp after the messaging app announced it will be cutting support of its service on older iPhones and Android smartphones.
From 1 February 2020, users running older operating systems will be at risk of WhatsApp no longer functioning on their phones.
The company made the announcement in an update to a blogpost listing which handsets will no longer be supported.
Phones including Androids older than version 2.3.7, Nokia S40 and iPhones running iOS 7 or older are included in the purge.
According to Google figures, 0.3 per cent of Android devices still run this operating system – amounting to around six million smartphones and tablets.
Users of these devices will no longer be able to create new accounts but will still be able to continue using WhatsApp up until the deadline.
"Because we'll no longer actively develop for these operating systems, some features might stop functioning at any time," WhatsApp said in the blogpost.
The Facebook-owned app boasts close to half a billion users around the world, however it is unclear how many users will be affected by WhatsApp's latest announcement.
WhatsApp announced in December that it would be ending support for Windows Phone 8.0 and older, as well as the Nokia Symbian S60 and Blackberry OS and Blackberry 10.
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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