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It was previously announced by Google that the newly developed digital assistant called Google Assistant will only be available for their newly launched Pixel phones. However, there are latest hacks and tricks on Android 7.0 Nougat that allows the non-pixel phones to download and make use of the said Google Assistant.

 Download Google Assistant to Android Phones

Many have been craving for the app aware and voice-controlled Google Assistant that eventually led the white hat hackers in finding ways to bring it to the non-Pixel phones. Although the digital assistant is available in Google Allo, still nothing beats the one that exclusively runs in the Pixel phones.

There are two ways to download Google Assistant to eligible handsets that run Android 7.0 Nougat such as Samsung, Sony, Motorola, Nexus, LG, HTC and others. According to Digital Trends, it is recommended for the users to have sufficient technical knowledge should they attempt to hack their respective phones.

To begin with, tricking Google servers is the first one to go. If the rooted phone has the 6.5.35.21 Google app or newer, Google servers are made to believe that the phone is a Google Pixel XL. Another thing is through using a flashable image which can be downloaded from XDA-Developer site. Full instructions can be found here.

On the other hand, Android 7.0 Nougat hacks and tricks on Google Assistant have apparent risks. These include bricking the device, warranty void that opens the door to malware attacks, messing up on the phone's camera and many others, thus, it's important to take the precautionary steps before attempting to hack the phones.

List of Eligible Handsets for the Nougat Hacks

So far, there are only nine handsets that are eligible for the Android 7.0 Nougat hacks. The list is consolidated by XDA-Developers and it includes the following: Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 4, Moto G 2013 (Falcon), Moto G 2015 (Osprey), One Plus One and Lenovo VIBE K5.

Author:  Shunie Pearl C. Dela Cruz

Source:  http://www.universityherald.com/

Categorized in News & Politics

As the rumor mill continue to churn out more interesting details about the Samsung Galaxy S8, release date speculations that emerged recently revealed that the new flagship model could hit the shelves worldwide in March 2017. A report from The Investor that went out a few days ago cited statements from unnamed various suppliers, which hinted a feasible release schedule for the Galaxy S8.

According to the publication’s sources, while still assessing the launch date for the next flagship, Samsung Electronics is eyeing to begin Samsung Galaxy S8 testing in January.

“Key suppliers are required to provide an initial batch of their parts for the Galaxy S8 from January,” according to an official from one of the suppliers.

“Full volume supplies will start in February.”

Samsung logo shown during Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge's presentation.

With this given timeline, there’s a possibility for Samsung Galaxy S8 to follow the usual release pattern of the previous flagship models, which is debuting at Mobile World Congress in February and then getting a global market release date in March.

“Considering the parts supplies, the phone launch could come in March as usual, unlike an earlier report by the Wall Street Journal,” another source working for another parts maker who wants to stay unnamed shared.

The March release date may sound good for those solid Samsung fans eager to get their hands on the Galaxy S8. But if the Wall Street Journal report that was referred in the cited quote above is to be considered, there’s a possibility for the next Samsung’s flag bearer to get a delayed debut. A post from Forbes, citing the WSJ report, linked the Samsung Galaxy S8’s potential late launch to the Galaxy Note 7 battery ignominy.

“The Wall Street Journal, citing sources close to the South Korean tech giant, is reporting that Samsung engineers still have not figured out the cause of the Note 7 battery fires, and that executives within the company are now ‘looking to delay the announcement of the Galaxy S8,’ perhaps as late as April.”

For sure, the tech world is eager to know what specifically caused the Note 7 batteries to explode. And Samsung being able to finally pinpoint the culprit will most definitely give a huge relief to their loyal followers. It is crucial especially for those waiting for the Galaxy maker’s next smartphone offering who are looking for assurance that the Korean titan will do its utter best for the same mistake not to happen again with the Galaxy S8 and other future devices.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 unveiled in a launch event.

If the Galaxy Note 7 battery issue will actually cause the late release of Samsung’s next flagship models, then, the tech company really needs to work faster to identify the root of the discontinued phablet’s problem. As according to the same Forbes report, delaying the Galaxy S8’s release “will almost certainly damage the momentum Samsung had built with the critically-acclaimed Galaxy S6 and S7.

Aside from the release date assumptions, talks about the specs and features of the Samsung Galaxy S8 are also widespread. The Korean conglomerate had already confirmed a few features to expect from the new smartphones including a “slick design” and an “improved camera,” according to a previous theT Inquisitr report.

Another major feature to get from the S8 is an AI digital assistance service and according to the latest development noted in the same Wall Street Journal report, there could be a dedicated physical button for it.

“The latest internal prototypes of the premium Galaxy S8 handset include a button on the side edge of the smartphone that would be used to launch a beefed-up virtual assistant,” the report said. But since the smartphone’s design is not final yet, it is still possible for Samsung to scrap the button idea for the AI feature, which is also rumored to be named Bixby.

The Inquisitr will continue to keep you updated for more release date and specs news surfacing online about the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Source: inquisitr.com

 

Categorized in News & Politics

It looks like Samsung is gearing for a comeback with the Galaxy Note 8 quick after the disaster that is the Galaxy Note 7.

Everyone lay witness to the huge crash that Samsung experienced with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which forced the company to do a complete recall of all units of the said model. Despite this huge failure on Samsung’s part, however, The Guardian reports that Samsung continues to lead in the global smartphone market in the third quarter of this year, still at 20 percent of the market share right before tight contender Apple.

But Samsung knows it has to shape up with the upcoming Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, and Note 8 to keep its lead in the race. With Apple’s not-so-popular iPhone 7, the playing field could still be quite even for the two smartphone giants.

The upcoming Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, and Note 8 units have sparked yet another speculation chain all over the internet because everyone knows its only a matter of time before Samsung releases an update to its smartphone and phablet lines. But before October ended, a Samsung representative spoke with CIO.

“Samsung has not officially communicated any information about a new Note lineup, so any reports referring to a new Note device are purely speculation and are not in reference to any communications from Samsung on a future Note.”

But everyone is convinced that Samsung is not yet ready to give up on the Note line. In fact, Samsung did confirm to Reuters in an official statement that customers who once owned a Galaxy Note 7 in South Korea will be able to get their hands on a Galaxy S8 or Note 8 update through an upgrade program when these models come out next year. This upgrade program will let the previous Galaxy Note 7 users to purchase Galaxy S8 or Note 8 next year for a half the price

As of date, the said upgrade program was only confirmed for South Korean owners and international patrons are hoping that Samsung will extend to them a similar upgrade program when the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 hits the market.

“In addition to offering refunds or exchanges for a Galaxy S7 smartphone, Samsung has already offered financial incentives amounting to 100,000 won ($88.39) to affected customers in South Korea. Users in the upgrade program will need to pay only half the price of a Galaxy S7 device, rather than the full amount, before exchanging to the S8 or the Note 8,” Samsung said.

Surely, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 are already in development. But Tech Times confirms this news via Evan Blass, a known mobile reporter who has a knack for reporting unannounced smartphone news.

In a recent tweet, Blass confirmed that the upcoming Galaxy S8 models will ship as SM-G950 and SM-G955.

We are highly certain that SM-N950 is the model number for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 8 since we know that the Note 7’s model number was SM-930, Galaxy Note 5 was SM-920, Galaxy Note 4 was SM-N910, and Galaxy Note 3 was SM-900.

A previous Inquisitr report cited Patrick Moorhead, chief analyst of Moor Insights & Strategy, who believes that the release of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 could be as early as January 2017.

“I think come January or March — January at CES or March at Mobile World Congress — they’ll come out with a Note 8. But it will be their high-end phone that not only goes after high-end consumers but enterprise as well.”

Surely, if Samsung has already come out with an upgrade program that involves the newer Galaxy S8 and Note 8, it’s only a matter of time before these new units get official release. With both the Note line having caught up with Samsung’s S line, Vine Report believes that the release of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will be alongside the release of the Note 8.

Source:  inquisitr.com

 

Categorized in News & Politics

Well, that's a relief. 

Samsung's initial pleas for customers to stop using and return their Galaxy Note7 devices with faulty batteries weren't particularly fruitful, but now that the recall is official and replacement devices are arriving en masse, the plan is working. 

Approximately half of recalled Note7 devices have already been exchanged, Samsung announced Thursday. 

"Samsung Electronics America, Inc. announced today that about half of all recalled Galaxy Note7 phones sold in the U.S. have been exchanged through Samsung’s voluntary recall. Additionally, 90 percent of Galaxy Note7 owners have been opting to receive the new Galaxy Note7 since the phones became widely available on Wednesday, September 21," the company's press release said. 

Note that this is only the U.S. — there's still a good number of faulty Note7s in other parts of the world. Up to 2.5 million defective Galaxy Note7 phones were shipped worldwide; approximately 1 million of those were in the U.S. 

After a slew reports of batteries catching fire, Samsung reacted and advised customers not to use the devices, later issuing an official recall. The company also pushed a firmware update to faulty devices, which warns users the phone should be turned off and returned immediately.

Many companies and organizations — including the New York City subway and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission — warned or outright forbid people from using Note7 phones until they exchange them for a new, properly working device. 

Source : http://mashable.com/

Categorized in Internet Technology

After weeks of urging consumers to return and exchange their Galaxy Note7 phones, Samsung, in partnership with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), has officially recalled the phones over defective batteries that could potentially explode.

 

Up to 1 million Note7 phones sold are affected in the U.S., but only about 130,000 device owners have returned their devices.

Samsung's now diligently urging ordering all Note7 owners who purchased a phone prior to Sept. 15 to return the phone and get a replacement. So if you're one of those owners and haven't done so, please do. You really, really don't want your Note7 to accidentally incinerate your car, burn you or blow up on any planes or trains.

The recall has effectively declared affected Note7 phones extremely dangerous to own. 

One of the reasons why so many Note7 owners may not have returned their devices could be related to limited stock for replacements. There are many reports that replacements weren't available and some users may have been hesitant to get loaner S7 and S7 Edge devices until new shipments arrived.

 

The process for getting replacements was also confusing. Consumers trying to return their devices to carriers were either told they didn't have replacements and didn't know when there would be any, or told to contact Samsung, in which the Korean electronics giant would then tell consumers they'd need to contact their carriers.

That confusion has only frustrated Note7 owners more.

How to see if your Note7 is affected
 

Obviously if you purchased a Note7 prior to Sept. 15, you should return and exchange it. But perhaps you got one as a gift or you're reading this story at a much later date and want to know if you have a phone that could explode.

To find out, locate your IMEI or serial number (Apps > Settings > About Phone  or General Management > Status IMEI information or Serial number, or find it on the back of your phone) and then enter it into Samsung's database here.

Replacements coming by Sept. 21

Following the proper Note7 recall, Samsung now says it'll have replacements for the affected U.S. phones as soon as next week.

"To our Note7 owners, if you have not yet replaced your original Note7, please, please power it down and return it," Tim Baxter, Samsung Electronics America president and COO, said in anapology video. "New Note7 phones will be available for exchange no later than next Wednesday, Sept. 21. Visit Samsung.com for more information."

A source close to Samsung tells Mashable the company is preparing an ample supply to replace faulty phones.

"To those of you who love the Note, the most loyal members in our Samsung family, we appreciate your passion and patience," Baxter said. "We take seriously our responsibility to address your concerns about safety. And we will work every day to earn back your trust through a number of unprecedented actions and with the extraordinary support of our carrier partners, suppliers and United States Consumer Products Safety Commission."

 

U.S. Note7 owners have three options according to Samsung:

1. Exchange your current Galaxy Note7 device with a new Galaxy Note7 as approved by the CPSC available no later than Sept. 21, 2016; or

2. Exchange your current Galaxy Note7 for a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge and replacement of any Note7 specific accessories with a refund of the price difference between devices; or

3. Contact your point of purchase to obtain a refund.

Additionally, Samsung's also throwing in a "$25 gift card, in-store credit, in-store accessory credit or bill credit from select carrier retail outlets" for those who exchange their devices as a consolation bonus for any trust lost.

Samsung's also provided websites and contact information regarding how to exchange Note7 phones at U.S. carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, U.S. Cellular) and at Best Buy on its website as well.

What about stickers and software updates and new battery icons?

There are several reports that Samsung is labeling new Note7 with different batteries with an "S" sticker on the packaging, issuing software updates that limit the charging of affected Note7 phones to 60 percent and giving new phones green battery icons instead of white ones.

However, none of that will happen in the U.S. In a phone call, Justin Denison, senior vice president of product strategy and marketing at Samsung Electronics America told Mashable that there are currently no plans for those specific initiatives — which are being taken by Samsung in other regions — planned for America.

At the current time, the company is focusing on its protocols with the CPSC and checking if devices have faulty batteries through IMEI and serial numbers. 

All new Note7 phones including replacements will be verified through authorized sellers as safe through its database; Note7 phones with IMEIs or serial numbers that are flagged in the database as faulty will not be sellable.

Additionally, the company is using a multitude of channels and social media platforms, including sending customers emails and notifications via the Samsung Plus app, to blast the recall information. In addition, it has produced print and radio spots to get users to take the recall seriously.

Samsung is planning further initiatives, but declined to elaborate beyond the fact that they'll be forthcoming.

Denison reiterated to Mashable that the company is putting safety as its top priority.

Source : http://mashable.com/

Categorized in Internet Technology

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is cautioning air passengers that they should not turn on or charge their Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones while on board and they should not stow them in checked baggage, following reports that a few dozen of the phones' batteries have exploded or caught fire.

The extraordinary caution was published Thursday on the FAA's website. 

"In light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices, the Federal Aviation Administration strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage," the statement said.

Samsung's parent company announced last week it would exchange phones in 10 countries, including Canada, after disclosing 35 cases of Note 7s that had burst into flames or exploded because of defective batteries from one supplier.

Samsung Electronics Canada says there have been no confirmed incidents in this country, but it's offering a voluntary exchange program for its Canadian customers.

Owners of the phone in Canada can exchange a recalled device for a new one of the same model.

The company says customers can also exchange a recalled device for a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge through the carrier or the retailer that sold the device.

Samsung says Note 7 owners can initiate the exchange by visiting CanadaNote7exchange.expertinquiry.com.

A toll-free phone number is also available: 1-800-517-3507.

Source : http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/faa-samsung-galaxy-note-7-1.3754208

Categorized in Internet Technology

People have often referred to Google, Facebook and Twitter as cases where foreign tech companies are blocked in China. In reality, while Facebook and Twitter were indeed blocked, Google chose to withdraw because they didn’t want to comply with Chinese censorship regulations.

It’s important to note that most foreign tech companies were not blocked, and companies like eBay, Amazon, Viadeo and, of course, Apple and Samsung all entered and competed in China.

EBay was beaten by Alibaba more than a decade ago. Amazon entered China through the acquisition of a local company, Joyo, in 2004, but was never able to build a commanding position in China the way they did in the U.S. Viadeo withdrew in 2015 due to a lack of market traction mostly because of the entry of LinkedIn.

On the other hand, Apple and Samsung have done well in China, despite increasing competition from the Chinese who are chipping off pieces of their pies. More recently, Uber China and Didi Chuxing reached a mutually beneficial deal, though some see it as Uber essentially surrendering the China market to Didi Chuxing.

This all seems to beg the question: Can foreign tech companies win in China?

Clearly, China’s regulatory regime regarding the internet, in particular social media, is far more restrictive than that of the U.S. and many other western countries in general. The “Great Firewall” has proven itself repeatedly to be a thorn in the side of foreign companies, and not all have been able to overcome this hurdle. Most have tried, but with varying degrees of success.

It all comes down to the company’s mindset and willingness to adapt. Some firms decided they didn’t want to play in such a context, like Google, and withdrew their operations. Some want to play but got blocked, like Facebook, yet continue to lobby the government for access. Some were allowed to play but couldn’t quite get their act together (for whatever reason), like Amazon, Viadeo and perhaps even Airbnb. There was also Yihaodian, which was Walmart’s online business, but eventually Walmart sold it to JD.com in exchange for some of JD’s shares.

China is not easy. It’s tough for everyone, no matter if one is foreign or not.

But there are some who seem to “get it,” like LinkedIn (at least for now). They entered the China market in 2014 with a dedicated Chinese site, Lingying, and within two years grew their user base to 20 million subscribers and counting. How did they manage such a feat where several others failed? They adapted to the China context. Not only did they localize by conforming to restrictions on content, they partnered with local firms Sequoia China and China Broadband Capital to further understand the China market.

LinkedIn also created local leadership by hiring a president for LinkedIn China, giving the team more autonomy to integrate and cater to local needs. Examples include collaborating with Tencent’s WeChat so users could link profiles, launching a Chinese business social networking app “Chitu” and planning to release a Chinese version of its Pulse news reader app.

Another such example is Evernote. They, too, found success through a focus on meaningful localization. Not only did they hire locally, they employed localized marketing strategies by leveraging local social media like Weibo and WeChat, and had localized customer service, which supports real-time customer support on the mentioned platforms. They did thorough market research before entering in 2012, and looked to solve the “pain points” of the Chinese consumer, mainly security and privacy. Lastly, they had an easy-to-recall Chinese name (Yinxiang Biji) with a memorable pun. This strategy paid off; within the first year after launch they had 4 million users in China, and by 2015 their user base reached 17 million.

The notion that lower-quality clones sprung up because of foreign tech companies being blocked is only partially right. One could argue that the major Chinese social websites of Baidu, Ren Ren, Sina Weibo and Youku Toudu are clones of Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, respectively. While the likes of Ren Ren weren’t able to replicate Facebook-like success in China, others have evolved beyond being clones to having their own unique, innovative ecosystems.

One such example is WeChat. Though it was originally inspired by Kik, and had similar features to WhatsApp, it evolved from mere messaging to becoming an integral part of the Chinese connected lifestyle. WeChat users can now link their bank cards to WeChat Pay, make in-store payments, transfer money to peers, buy movie tickets, hail taxis, pay for utility bills and so on. In fact, the list is practically endless, and shows how WeChat’s business model has become so powerful, and has grown from being a simple messaging app like WhatsApp (which, incidentally is also not blocked in China, but cannot hope to compete on WeChat’s scale).

Foreign tech players tend not to be as extensive in ecosystem building.

Importantly, Chinese innovators are developing new intellectual capital. They are crafting innovative business models and reaching new frontiers of business strategy and organization. Prime examples include Alibaba and LeEco. Jack Ma has built Alibaba into a sprawling internet business through “multiple jumping” from one business area to another, while building its capabilities along the way through a combination of self-built and collaborative partnerships. This disrupted the conventional “core competence” approach that has ruled modern business for the past 30-odd years.

LeEco is, broadly speaking, a “lifestyle” company, with a diverse ecosystem of infotainment content, smart devices and internet-connected mobility. Many commentators by now have pointed out that Chinese innovators are fast, agile and adaptive. However, these are merely phenomenological observations. At heart, the best and brightest of these innovators are deeply reflective on what the new frontiers of business are, focusing on “how can we get it right and do it well?”

Of course, China’s market for tech companies has evolved significantly for over a decade and a half. When Alibaba was competing with eBay more than a decade ago, China’s tech market was pretty primitive. Alibaba merely used guerrilla warfare tactics based on its grit to defeat a major foreign player. Today, both the market and the players are much more sophisticated and their business approaches are much more refined. The leading Chinese innovators are digital ecosystem players building scale and creating customer stickiness through their entire ecosystem. Foreign tech players tend not to be as extensive in ecosystem building.

To “win,” foreign tech companies need to adapt to the China context and deeply understand the key factors of success. Local leadership is critical and appropriate empowerment by the global headquarters to the local leadership to do the right things is essential. While for some, the market is not open or they are not welcome, for many, the opportunities are right there. China is not easy, but why should it be? It’s tough for everyone, no matter if one is foreign or not. And no one can be sustainably successful if they don’t observe, learn and adapt.

LinkedIn China’s Chitu, for instance, is struggling to get market traction. Evernote, while achieving early success in China, seems to be facing some challenges for sustainable growth, mainly due to lack of premium paid users and growing competition from Chinese startups. In fact, drawing a line on “who’s Chinese and who’s not” is also somewhat artificial, given that Alibaba’s and Tencent’s largest respective shareholders are not Chinese, and some of LinkedIn China’s and Uber China’s key shareholders are Chinese. (Sequoia China, whose parent is a Silicon Valley-headquartered VC fund, has its operations led by Chinese venture capitalist Neil Shen, who has a deep understanding of the China context.)

As China’s digital business grows, it’s going to provide more opportunities for many players. Who “gets it” and who doesn’t will certainly not only be a function of “being blocked or not,” but equally (or even more importantly) those who have the right mindset and approach to the China context (and for that matter, China for the world). To this end, it’s a real test of the leadership and capabilities of the companies, as well as the capital behind them.

Source : https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/28/can-foreign-tech-companies-win-in-china/

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