No Major iPhone Price Hike for 2020; 2 Chinese Firms Making Domestic OS; Google Interpreter Goes Live On Mobile; Facebook Gets Your Retail Data-But You Can Minimize

Here’s a nice rumor about next year’s iPhones. Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the 4 5G iPhones won’t have much of a price boost…ranging from $30 to $100, depending on the model. Macrumors.com reports that, in spite of the new 5G tech being more expensive, Apple will pull this off by cutting non-recurring engineering payments to suppliers. These have been used in the past to help out suppliers in the ‘dark side’ of the year, when no iPhones come out, and sales drop off. Now, it appears Apple will be releasing the smaller, lower cost so-called SE-2 model in the spring, and the other phones in September…and plans to continue releasing iPhones on a biannual basis moving forward.

China recently announced that in the next couple years, all government computers and affiliated organization computers there will have to be Chinese computers running their software. Now, according to zdnet.com, they are going a step further. The two biggest operating system makers in China have announced to unite and build a new ‘domestic operating system.’ China Standard Software and Tianjin Kylin Information both have ties to the Chinese government (of course.) It appears that China is following Moscow’s lead, trying to make sure they can keep out any unwanted foreign entities from their computing systems. Russia recently announced that all devices there must have certain Russian apps installed (spyware for the government…the same as the Chinese are working on, no doubt.) It is unlikely that the government there or anywhere will be able to keep young, bright hackers from cleaning up the Domestic OS to keep out prying eyes. That genie has been out of the bottle for decades now. Nothing is ‘hack proof.’

A feature Google has had on smart speakers and displays for months is now hitting mobile. Techcrunch.com says Interpreter, which works hand in hand with Assistant, will be available on both Android and iOS worldwide starting today. You can then tell it something like ‘Hey Google, help me speak French,’ or the like and you are offered real time translated transcripts and audio. It also works on a limited basis with some Smart Replies as in Gmail. 44 languages are available, which is an increase from the 29 that were offered on the smart speakers. I hope if Apple tries to join this party, they do some major work on Siri. Based on some of the texts and the like I get from some friends that dictate replies to Siri IN ENGLISH, it could be scary. Would you trust that to say what you intend in another language? Let’s hope that Google has their translator thoroughly tested out and pretty bulletproof!

As if Facebook doesn’t get enough of your data from your use of the platform, and their tracking you on the web via ‘partners,’ they have also been getting offline data through partners since August. According to businessinsider.com, any of their partners can ‘opt to send Facebook information about customers, including identifying information like an email, name, or phone number, and a record of what they bought. Facebook matches that information to user’s profiles, allowing the business to advertise to those people directly on its apps.’ Two known partners thus far are Macy*s and Dick’s Sporting Goods. If you have shopped at a store and suddenly note an uptick in ads on Facebook from them, that’s where it’s coming from. The practice extends to online sellers, too…but that has just been expanded….they have been tracking your online shopping for some time now. Like to minimize this? You can opt out of being served ads based on offline activities by going to settings, selecting ‘ads,’ and unchecking ‘ads based on data from partners.’



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