LG May Supply OLED Screens for iPhone X; Instagram Tests Standalone Messaging App; PS4 Sales Pass Big MilestonePosted: December 7, 2017
LG had already been rumored to be working on a deal to supply OLED screens to Apple for the iPhone X. Its been expected that something would work out for the next generation by September 2018, but now it could happen before that. 9to5mac.com reports that while Samsung has been the exclusive supplier to Apple for OLED screens, both LG and Chinese maker BOE have been trying to get in as suppliers. Apple earlier invested almost 14 billion in LG’s OLED production, with 2/3’s of it earmarked for iPhone screens.
Facebook is going full speed ahead in standalone messaging apps. Earlier this week, they announced Messenger Kids, and now it’s out that they are testing a standalone Instagram app for direct messaging. TechCrunch.com says right now the app is only available in Uruguay, Chile, Turkey, Italy, Portugal, and Israel. Besides sharing messages and stories (and of course pictures), there are exclusive filters. It may be out to everyone next year.
Sony has announced the Playstation 4 sales have crossed the 70 million mark, a notable milestone, because the PS3 sold just over 80 million over its lifespan, and the PS4 has gotten to this point in 4 years. According to theverge.com, best estimates for the Xbox One sales are 20 million. Another notable mark…Playstation VR, the virtual reality version has passed 2 million sold!
Last week, Apple rolled out the Apple Watch, and within a day, counterfeit versions were on the streets in China. Now, zdnet.com says there are knockoffs in stores and online. One shown on Alibaba is the Airwatch A8 smart wearable watch. It’s a dead ringer, but runs Android, shoots photos and video, and uses a SIM card for independent calling. It’s $76.
There’s not much more frustrating than lines at the airport. Theverge.com reports that Cincinnati International Airport is using a tracking system that picks up the MAC addresses of smartphones anonymously, and has allowed them to cut time in security lines by a third. 20 other airports around the world are using the tech from Blip Systems.
Microsoft cut prices on the Xbox One and beat out Sony during the Christmas season, but now Sony has come roaring back, with the Playstation 4 outselling the Xbox in both January and February. According to Geekwire.com, those two new generation game systems have outsold their predecessors by 60% so far.
More pictures have leaked out of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6, and they show 3 different models. 9to5google.com reports that besides the ‘regular’ S6, there appear to be two Galaxy Edge models. Earlier reports had an Edge with two side screens, but it appears that actually there will be both right and left handed models. Using the edge screen by leftys would otherwise require using the phone upside down! Of course, we won’t really know until Samsung releases them. The phones are still expected to roll out March 1st at Mobile World Congress.
Microsoft just dropped the first big update of the year to the Xbox One. Geekwire.com says it includes a Game Hubs feature, that pulls together game clips, playing tips, leaderboards, and info about friends. Redmond’s idea is to basically create a social network around individual games on the Xbox, with the hope that adding this plus their price cut will help them catch up to the Playstation 4 in sales.
While the venerable keyboard and mouse still rule computer inputs, and voice control is still not ready for prime time, there’s a new app at the Apple App Store that lets you use fingers in thin air. Engadget.com reports that ControlAir works with media apps like iTunes, Spotify, and more. You still have to open the app and start the music or video, but you can stop, start, and mute from across the room. The app uses your EyeSight camera.
Next year’s iPhone 6S will probably have Samsung inside…macrumors.com says Samsung has started making Apple’s A9 chip in Texas. iPhone 6 chipmaker TSMC will provide a supplementary supply from Taiwan.
There’s joy in Mudville. After getting bettered by Sony, Microsoft sold 1.2 million Xbox Ones in November, beating out the PS4 and Wii U. Geekwire.com reports a $50 price cut helped out.
Iowa may lead the way in smartphone based driver’s licenses. 9to5google.com says they will have animation to limit spoofing, and will be scannable, so the phone doesn’t leave your hand. 20 other states are looking at doing this.
Another tech company makes a preemptive strike at the yet to be released Apple Watch. 9to5google.com says LG has cut the price of the G Watch temporarily to $180 at Google Play.
Prime Instant Video from Amazon is now available on Android phones in the US, Britain, and Germany, according to techcrunch.com. You have to update their app, and download their video player to use it, though.
Microsoft has begun quietly replacing some excessively noisy Xbox One systems. Geek.com says this is after months of complaints on their official forums.