Your daily tech news digest – 10 biggest stories (July 26, 2018)

This is our daily digest series, wherein we bring to you a curated list of top 10 technology news from around the world.

In today’s edition, you’ll read about Samsung’s unbreakable smartphone panel, prosthetic limbs for you to multitask, new Facebook Watch Party feature, and lots of other useful and impactful news stories.

So without any further ado, here’s the list:

No Qualcomm chips in this year’s iPhones

Chip giant Qualcomm has confirmed that Apple won’t be using Snapdragon chipsets in 2018 models of iPhones. The news comes courtesy of George Davis, Qualcomm’s Financial Chief.

apple-iphones

Here’s what the executive said:

We believe Apple intends to solely use our competitor’s modems rather than our modems in its next iPhone release

Although there’s no official confirmation on which ‘competitor’ Davis was talking about, reports say he was referring to Intel. More info here.

Samsung’s unbreakable smartphone panel receives certification in US

Samsung has officially announced that an unbreakable smartphone panel developed by the company has received certification in the US. Specifically, the panel has been certified UL (Underwriters Laboratories), which is an official testing company for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (US Department of Labor).

samsung-galaxy-s7

According to UL, the unbreakable display developed by Samsung Display passed the rigorous real-time durability test that is based on military standards set by the U.S. Department of Defense. After a drop test administered at 1.2 meters (nearly 4 feet) above the ground 26 times in succession, and accompanying high (71 degrees) and low (-32 degrees) temperature tests, the Samsung unbreakable panel continued to function normally with no damage to its front, sides or edges

More info here.

VLC blacklists Huawei phones

Team behind popular media playback and streaming application VLC has blacklisted Huawei phones from downloading the app from Google Play Store. The company announced the decision on Twitter, explaining why they took this extreme step.

We’ll have to wait and watch how Huawei responds. More info here and here.

Google Assistant gets even better

Google has announced that Assistant will now read out topic-specific excerpts from news websites, making it even more convenient for users to catch up with the news they are interested in.

googleassistant-speakable

When people ask the Google Assistant — “Hey Google, what’s the latest news on NASA?”, the Google Assistant responds with an excerpt from a news article and the name of the news organization

More info here.

New Facebook feature lets you watch videos together in real time

Facebook has launched a new feature dubbed Watch Party. What it does is, it allows you and your Facebook contacts to watch videos together in real time.

Once a Watch Party is started, participants can watch videos, live or recorded, and interact with one another around them in the same moment

watch-party-facebook

More info here.

Hands on Asus’ gaming-focused ROG phone

Popular YouTube channel owner Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) has posted a hands-on video for the Asus ROG phone on his channel. The device has a striking design, and is primarily aimed at gamers. Take a look at the video below:

More info here.

Microsoft testing way to stop update installation while PC is in use

As a Microsoft Windows 10 user, you might have observed the annoying behavior of updates installing right in the middle of you using the PC for some work. Well, this problem could soon be a thing of past.

windows10-laptop

Here’s what the Redmond-based company has said:

We heard you, and to alleviate this pain, if you have an update pending we’ve updated our reboot logic to use a new system that is more adaptive and proactive. We trained a predictive model that can accurately predict when the right time to restart the device is

More info here.

Facebook revenue was over $13 billion in Q2 this year

Facebook has announced its Q2 2018 earnings, revealing a revenue of $13.23 billion. If you compare, this translates into an increase of over 42% year on year.

facebook

Despite the bad press Facebook received in recent times (due to data privacy issues), the company’s daily and monthly active user numbers are up, although by a small number (1.54 percent) compared to Q1.

More info here.

Google Drive about to hit 1 billion users mark

Google has revealed that its cloud storage service Drive – which launched back in 2012 – is about to hit the 1 billion users mark. The revelation was made by the company at its Cloud Next conference in San Francisco.

google-drive

With this, the list of Google software products that have achieved this milestone now contains a total of 8 names, including Gmail, Chrome, and Google Maps. Of course, Android is also on the list with over a whopping 2 billion users worldwide.

More info here.

Humans with more than two hands

Need more hands for multitasking? Well, your wish may soon be granted. Researchers at Kyoto’s Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute have successfully demoed people brain-controlling a prosthetic arm while their natural hands are occupied in a task.

Specifically, eight of the fifteen participants were able to successfully control the artificial limb.

“What we’re measuring is leakage from the brain’s electrical activity,” one of the researchers said. “We have to tune [the brain-machine interface] for each participant; selecting the right electrodes and frequencies.”

More info here.

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Dr. Aparajita Sharma

A budding entrepreneur by profession, and a psychologist by education. As a founding member of PiunikaWeb, I am nurturing this firstborn with my sharp-eyed expertise and even journalistic writing when needed.