OLED Displays are coming to the iPhones, but not soon enough

South Korea’s LG Display Co Ltd and the panel-making unit of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd will supply organic light emitting diode (OLED) screens for Apple Inc’s iPhones, the Electronic Times reported on Wednesday citing unnamed sources.

According to Reuters, LG and Samsung will be responsible for the future production of OLED screens for those next generation iPhones that everybody expects each new year.

Those new screens won’t arrive soon enough, though. Engadget points out that the Apple Watch already uses that kind of screen -it seems that doesn’t do any magic trick to its battery life- and Nikkei estimates that the iPhones with OLED screens will start to show up in 2018.

This adds up to previous rumors that let us know that Apple is opening a secret lab in Taiwan whose unique goal is to develop the screens of the future. Apple is trying to control more and more hardware components on their devices, and it seems OLED screen will try to be the next key differentiator against the competition.

Source: LG Display, Samsung Display to supply OLED screens for iPhones – report | Reuters

The absurd backdoor

China passed a controversial new anti-terrorism law on Sunday that requires technology firms to help decrypt information, but not install security “backdoors” as initially planned, and allows the military to venture overseas on counter-terror operations.

Counter-terrorism efforts are beginning to be infuriating. Most countries are passing laws against encryption and privacy that for lots of people are even more concerning that the terrorist attacks themselves.

China is the latest one to propose the integration of backdoors for government purposes on all kinds of electronic equipment, and that’s only another sign of defeat. Not for terrorists, of course: I assume their goal has never been the suppression of our privacy. Glenn Greenwald is on the spot on this issue:

This is a defeat for our society, and I really hope small and big technology companies do not play that game. Apple seems to lead that stance, something that could affect their current business in the asiatic giant, but that really honors them.

Source: China passes controversial counter-terrorism law

Microsoft delays its Surface Hub and nobody really cares

surfacehub

Microsoft is upping the prices of its Surface Hub videoconferencing systems by $2,000 and pushing back the shipment date from January 1 to Q1 of 2016.

So not only they delay Surface Hub: they will charge even more money for those expensive videoconference solutions. There are certainly cheaper options for that kind of business device, and spending $22k on a 84” SmartTV seems not a wise option.

Source: Microsoft to hike Surface Hub pricing ahead of early 2016 release | ZDNet

Google and Facebook are winning the invisible battle of mobile apps

Great insight from Peter Kafka based on a new study from Nielsen. On it we found a critical comparison: mobile OS market share vs most important mobile apps (by number of unique users).

The facts are there: even with Apple pretty close to Android in the US, five of the top 10 mobile apps are from Google, with Facebook owning three (remember Instagram?) and the latest two owned by Apple. It’s surprising to see Apple Music there (Spotify?) but I guess preinstalling that with iOS 9 makes the difference.

That graph would be pretty different outside the US. In Spain, for example, Android leads with a staggering 89,6% market share (iOS has a 7,3%, Windows has a 2,7% an the rest, a 0,4%, is for “Others”), so the most used mobile apps should benefit Google even more. There would be differences on the instant messaging market -WhatsApp is undisputable leader here, so Facebook would win again on that front- but the data from Nielsen makes this even more relevant: in the US, where iOS is strongest than anywhere else, Google and Facebook are kings amongst app makers.

As hardware has become a commodity in the mobile space, is software what makes the difference, and Google and Facebook dominate this space.

That’s really interesting.

Source: You May Own Apple’s Phone, but You’re Using Google’s Apps

Lumia 950 XL and second chances

Lumia 950 XL review 8

Tom Warren at The Verge:

The Lumia 950 XL simply isn’t for me or the vast majority of smartphone users out there. I use Windows 10 on a daily basis on a PC, but the experience on mobile is just lacking. Microsoft has done an excellent job on its apps for other platforms, and my iPhone home screen is full of them. The Lumia 950 XL needed something exciting and unique to convince me to switch back, but it failed.

I’m expecting to confirm this, but every review out there has pointed more or less to the inmature state of these new smartphones. It’s Microsoft fault, but it’s a logic flaw: Windows 10 Mobile is a baby OS. I’d like to give it a chance, but I’m affraid the market won’t be so merciful.

George Hotz and the democratization of Autonomous Cars

Great piece at Bloomberg. Promising, exciting. Even surprising. George Hotz -a.k.a. ‘geohot’- showed his genius when he was only 17 years old and he hacked the iPhone. The gave another testament of his technical prowess three years later, when he hacked the PS3 and put Sony in big problems.

And know, at 26, he’s making an even bigger bet: develop an autonomous car by himself. He thinks he can beat Tesla autopilot -the video shows that the system is pretty promising (still a “Level 3” autonomy out of four levels)- by himself, and that could lead to a development that could even rival the one by Google, which is a full autonomous car.

His new startup, comma.ai is clear in his simple, unique message: “ghostriding for the masses“. There’s still no signs on how the software will be published, but Hotz has always shared his work with everyone for free, so excluding hardware costs for the system -around $1000 according to the Bloomberg article-, this could change this segment forever.

An Open Source autonomous car is possible, and there’s something revealing here. Elon Musk, whom big businesses are usually afraid of, is afraid himself. Or at least, it seems so in his defensive message. Interesting.

Source: George Hotz Is Taking on Tesla by Himself

The ‘Open’ falacy

Update (12/16/2015): Philips has changed his mind and the company will continue to support third party lights. Great news!

Every tech company nowadays likes to use certain words in their messages to users and media. One of their favourites terms is ‘Open’. Everything seems opens these days. Except it’s not.

We’ve got a recent testimony of that with Philips Hue, the technology that allows to control our house lightning from a smartphone and that was not only compatible with Philips Hue bulbs, but with other bulbs from third parties that did comply with the ZigBee standard that was used across those products.

It’s Philips who doesn’t comply now with those requirements and states that only certain products -not necessarily from Philips, but they’ll have to have a ‘certification’ from them- will be able to work under that ecosystem. Users are complaining about this change, of course.

There you go. You are open until you gain enough market share. Time to reap the rewards, Philips, isn’t it?

Source: Philips Hue cuts support for third-party bulbs – CNET

Ballmer is wrong about Windows 10 universal apps: Uber shows the way

Ballmer recently criticized Microsoft approach to apps and the mobile space and pointed out that the universal apps philosophy “won’t work“. Matt Weinberger at Business Insider makes us think that Ballmer could be really wrong:

On Wednesday, driver-on-demand app Uber comes to Microsoft Windows 10 — making it the first time ever that Uber has been available from a desktop PC. […] Getting Uber on Windows 10, as an official universal app, is a huge coup for Microsoft and Nadella. It means that Uber, at least, thinks that Windows 10 is worth the time and energy to support.

Maybe he should take a look at the new Uber app for Windows 10, that works indistinctly on a PC and on mobile phones with Microsoft’s new OS and that lets developers discover how a universal app can really transform itself to adapt the interface and its features to each device conveniently.

That’s the way to go, Microsoft.

Split-screen feature for Android is coming, but that’s far from enough

Google’s sleek new Pixel C tablet has already gotten dinged in initial reviews for missing a basic productivity feature that is available in comparable gadgets, like the iPad Pro and the Surface Pro 4: the ability to run multiple windows at any given time. Now we know for sure that the feature is coming to Android.

We talked about this yesterday. A split-screen feature to be able to have two windows at the same time in your screen in nice, but the problem is the software catalog itself.

mash

You can’t not be that productive when the apps look like scaled, giant versions of the ones you’ve got on a phone. Android has never had a good tablet catalog of apps, and work must be done there.

Look at the iPad Pro. The split-screen feature hasn’t saved it from “just decent” reviews.

Source: Google is working on a split-screen feature for Android, always-on ‘OK Google,’ and DisplayPort support for Pixel C