Voice Calling On Amazon Echo & Google Home; Big Facebook Video Update; Apple May Add Additional OLED Screen Supplier

Voice calling may be coming to Amazon Echo and Google home. Theverge.com reports that the feature could be rolled out this year, but both companies ‘have concerns about privacy, emergency services, and regulatory hurdles.’ Apparently, you will only be able to make calls over speakerphone, which may put off some users. Google will probably just extend Google Voice, while Amazon is looking at options such as syncing to your present number, call forwarding, or even having the Echo get its own number. They also haven’t finalized switching to your phone if you leave the house or room where the Echo is located.

Facebook is rolling out a major update for video. Thenextweb.com says one of them will seem more like a bug than a feature…videos will now auto play sound. There is apparently an app setting to disable it, at least. On the plus side, vertical video will now take up more of the screen on Android and iOS devices, and there is a picture in picture mode. Facebook will also be rolling out a video app for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Samsung Smart TV, as well as other platforms, but no firm date on those yet.

Apple is apparently looking at adding China’s BOE as a supplier of OLED screens for the iPhone 8, according to macrumors.com. Samsung, LG, Sharp, and Japan Display are already believed to be used, but there are concerns that they couldn’t keep up with demand. At this point, it’s still thought that the OLED screen will only be available on the iPhone 8, with the 7S and 7S Plus models staying with LCD displays. BOE is opening an additional factory this summer, and another about 2 years down the line.


Google I/O Dates Announced; Apple Looks at Flex LCD Displays; Amazon’s STEM Initiative for Kids

Google I/O will be May 17-19 this year, and will be at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View. This will be the third time around for holding the event in that outdoor venue. So far, no other details have been posted about the developer event. Suppose there will be some cool drone streaming footage or the like from the event this year?

In what would be quite a change for Apple if they decide to do it, Cupertino is looking at a flexible LCD display from Japan Display for possible future iPhones. According to 9to5mac.com, it would mean a plastic screen for iPhones, but would allow Apple to make a phone that bends and flexes.

Amazon launched STEM Club yesterday, to help introduce kids to more science, technology, engineering, and math. Thenextweb.com reports that for $19.99 a month + tax, your child gets a new STEM related toy. It’s set up by age groups…3-4, 5-7, and 8-13. There’s no long term contract, you can cancel any time you want.


More iPhone OLED Display Rumors; Google Makes WHAT from Android?

Japan Display says it will start mass producing OLED displays within the next 2 years, according to a Reuters report picked up by theverge.com. This is being seen as angling for the Apple iPhone business Samsung and LG are gunning for. It’s been widely rumored that iPhones will use OLED screens by 2018. Numerous Android phones already have them, with Samsung touting Super OLED. Those screens are lighter and thinner than the LCD displays Apple uses, and have more vibrant colors and greater contrast.

Those pesky lawyers! An attorney for Oracle said in court that Google’s Android generated revenue of $31 billion and $22 in profit. If my math is correct, that’s around a stunning 70% profit margin! Bloomberg.com says the disclosure was made January 14th in an Oracle suit accusing Google of using Java software without paying for it to develop Android. Meanwhile, Oracle’s copyright suit against Google also revealed that Google dropped a cool billion with Apple in 2014 to keep it’s search bar on the iPhone! Note to Apple: I’m available for adoption.