Samsung Galaxy S10 Rumors; Netflix Misses Growth; Boeing Drone Traffic System; Skype Updates Desktop App; Apple Store Crushes Google Play

The fabled in-screen fingerprint scanner may come to the Samsung Galaxy S10 in 2019. Businessinsider.com reports that the FOD, or fingerprint on display will let users get their finger scanned by putting int on the screen. The two larger, more high-end Galaxy S10 handsets will have an ultrasonic version of this…but the smaller Galaxy S10 will keep the fingerprint scanner on the side. The S9 phones have a reader on the back. Apple ditched fingerprint scanning last Fall for its Face ID. Samsung may ship 40 million Galaxy S10 phones in 2019 according to well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Netflix stubbed its toe in added subscribers for the first time in 5 quarters, and the stock took a plunge of over 13 percent. According to CNBC.com, they only added 5.15 million subscribers, down about a million from what was projected. Revenue also missed a bit…it was $3.91 billion instead of the predicted $3.94 billion. Analysts have worried that Netflix couldn’t sustain their growth, which has been over 100% year to date. They are also eyeing competition in streaming by Disney and AT&T. For next quarter, Netflix has just projected 5 million new subscribers, about what they did this quarter.

Some people need to be thinking ahead in order to plan for problems that most of us haven’t thought of yet. One of those is drone traffic. Right now, the only time there is an issue is with fires, when numerous media outlets and others try to fly drones over the scene to capture video, but the problem will only grow in the future. Boeing is starting to develop a drone traffic management system now to be ready. Geekwire.com says the system will use artificial intelligence and blockchain tech. A Texas AI company called SparkCognition is partnering with Boeing on the AI portion, as the aircraft company has formed a new business group called Boeing NeXt. Other companies are also looking into drone traffic management, including AT&T, Amazon, and Alphabet’s Wing.

Skype has rolled out a new desktop version, 8.0. TechCrunch.com reports that version 7 will be killed by September 1st. New features include HD video and screen sharing in calls, support for @mentions in chats, a chat media gallery, and file and media sharing up to 300 MB. Encrypted audio calls and texts are coming later, as is built in call recording.

Apple continues to find ways to coin money in addition to selling hardware. Appleinsider.com reports that an analytics firm called Sensor Tower just did a study, and Apple’s App Store doubles the revenue of Google’s Play with just half the number of downloads. From January to June of 2018, the App store raked in $22.6 billion while Google Play took in $11.8 billion. Both stores are showing big time growth….year over year, first half of this year compared to last, the two app stores grew combined by 27.8%!

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Preorders Back for Microsoft Surface Book…But Wait Time Slips

Microsoft temporarily shut down preorders for the new Surface Book combo laptop/tablet, but they’re back online. That’s the good news, if you want one of the powerful new devices. The down side? Cnet.com reports that ship times have slipped to between 6 and 8 weeks…two months! If you really want to get one sooner, some vendors…including frys.com have shorter ship times, or you can roll the dice and show up at a Microsoft store October 26th. Best Buy will carry the Surface Book, but their website only says ‘coming soon.’

Since the introduction of larger screened iPhones, China has rocketed to being Apple’s biggest market. TechCrunch.com says that App Annie’s analysis shows that China led all countries in absolute growth 3rd quarter of this year, both measured by app downloads and revenue. Google Play still has more downloads than Apple’s App store in China, but iOS App Store revenue is 80% higher than Google Play! Most of that action is in social video apps and games.


Samsung Working on Smartphone Installment Plan Like Apple’s

On the heels of Apple’s new installment program to acquire phones directly, without the deal going through the carriers, Samsung is cooking up a similar deal for Galaxy smartphones. Forbes.com says Samsung will offer a 1-2 year monthly installment plan in the next several months. Apple’s deal starts at $32 a month for an unlocked phone, and it’s expected that Samsung will roll out something competitive. Of course, you still have to pay the carrier you go with their monthly charges in addition.

Up to now, only 5 cases of malware have made it through Apple’s tough process and gotten into the App Store. Some clever black hat folks convinced a number of developers to download Apple’s Xcode from a server in China that contained malware, though, and now Apple has had to pull 344 malware infected apps, including WeChat, the largest standalone messaging app in China. According to geek.com, the malware had very limited functionality, but anti-malware advocates say this may have been a proof of concept, to try to penetrate Apple’s walled garden by way of developers, and it obviously worked.


Nope, Even Your Fingerprints Aren’t Safe

Nope, on some Android handsets, even your fingerprints aren’t safe. FireEye researchers showed the Black Hat conference in Vegas 4 new ways of harvesting fingerprints, including one that can be done remotely at large scale. According to zdnet.com, the hacks work primarily on Samsung, Huawei, and HTC handsets. The researchers say the hacks are possible mainly because the manufacturers don’t fully lock down the sensor. Since these phones just require system privilege instead of root, jailbroken phones are more at risk, too. All three vendors have patched problems since being notified, but any prints that are taken in one kind of hack are out there forever. The FireEye researchers say iPhone fingerprint sensors are quite secure since they encrypt fingerprint data from the scanner.

Apple Music is now up to 11 million users trying out the 90 day free trial, According to the company’s Eddy Cue. Macrumors.com reports that of those, 2 million are test driving the more pricey family plan. Here’s an amazing App Store number that Cue shared, too…since 2008, Apple has paid out 33 billion to developers for apps!


The Next HTC Flagship Phone Will Be Two

Leaked renderings show the upcoming HTC One M9…code named Hima. 9to5google.com says usually reliable Evan Blass sees a regular and a ‘plus’ size, and the regular one doesn’t have a hardware home button.

It helped sales before, so Motorola is again discounting the Moto X. According to theverge.com, it will be $140 off February 2nd through Valentine’s Day…the same price as Moto had Cyber Monday.

With all the hoopla about Apple’s sales and earnings, here’s something that slipped under the radar. Appliedsider.com says Google Play downloads are growing, but Apple’s App Store still commands 70% of digital storefront revenue.