More Google Pixel 2 Rumors; Lensless Camera Could Allow Truly Flat Phones; Amazon Working on Website Translation Service

Rumors are now flying about Google’s Pixel 2 phones. 9to5google.com reports that they will be made by LG, ad previously thought, and will lose the headphone jack. There will be 2 models, and the smaller one will be nearly identical to the present model. The bigger one will have smaller bezels around the screen than the current one, and will have a 5.99 inch OLED display. It will also feature a two tone metal and glass back. Apparently, no dual camera on the Pixels, just a single lens with dual flash.

One of the major items that hasn’t enabled really flat smartphones is the lens assembly for the cameras. According to engadget.com, that may be changing. Researchers at Caltech have figured out an ‘optical phased array’ chip that uses math as a substitute for a lens. Using minute time delays to light from different locations, it can change focus without a lens! They claim it can switch from a fisheye to a telephoto lens instantly. The tech is in the initial stages, but they have already demoed a proof of concept, so in a few years, you may have a much thinner smartphone.

This is a little back end and geeky, but Amazon is working on tech that would let developers making apps and websites translate content to multiple languages. Techcrunch.com says it is technology based on what Amazon uses on its own products. Amazon acquired machine translation startup Safaba around two years ago, and they are building on their machine learning model.


Apple Pay Coming to Websites by Holidays; Sony Bringing PS Games to Mobile

Apple is getting ready to move Apple Pay beyond apps to mobile purchases over the web. Recode.net reports that the service will be available on iPhones and iPads with TouchID using the Safari browser by the holidays this year. Paypal has already had a system called One Touch that more than 250 top retailers use, but Apple Pay will be quicker and cleaner at checkout, with just the touch of a fingerprint, and you’re done.

In other big mobile news, Sony has formed ForwardWorks corporation to develop games using PlayStation titles and characters for mobile games. 9to5google.com notes that they won’t be porting full blown PlayStation games over to Android and iOS, but even ‘lite’ versions of many titles will please mobile users…and considering that there are billions of them, that should be a huge market.