Tech

Xiaomi opts for sliding camera and no notch for new bezel-less Mi Mix phone
techcrunch.com
Xiaomi has announced the newest version of its bezel-less Mi Mix family, and it doesn’t sport a notch like its Mi 8 flagship. Indeed, unlike the Mi 8 — which I called one of Xiaomi’s most brazen Apple clones — there’s a lot more to get excited about. The Mi Mix 3 was unveiled at an event in Beijing and, like its predecessor, Xiaomi boasts that it offers a full front screen. Rather than opting for the near-industry standard notch, Xiaomi has developed a slider that houses its front-facing camera. Vivo and Oppo have done similar using a motorized approach, but Xiaomi’s is magnetic while it can also be programmed for functions such as answering calls. That array gives it a claimed 93.4 percent screen-to-body ratio and a full 6.4-inch 1080p AMOLED displa [...]
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Fleksy’s keyboard grabs $800k+ via equity crowdfunding
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The dev team that’s now engineering the Fleksy keyboard app has raised more than $800,000 via an equity crowdfunding route. As we reported a year ago, the development of Fleksy’s keyboard has been taken over by the Barcelona-based startup behind an earlier keyboard app called ThingThing. The team says their new funding raise — described as a pre-Series A round — will be put towards continued product development of the Fleksy keyboard, including the core AI engine used for next word and content prediction, plus additional features being requested by users — such as swipe to type.  Support for more languages is also planned. (Fleksy’s Android and iOS apps are currently available in 45+ languages.) Their other big push will be for growth: Scaling the us [...]
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Snapchat loses 2M more users in Q3 as shares sink to new low
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Snapchat continued to shrink in Q3 2018 but its business is steadily improving. Snapchat’s daily active user count dropped again, this time by 1 percent to 186 million, down from 188M and a negative 1.5 percent growth rate in Q2. User count is still up 5 percent year-over-year, though. Snapchat earned $298 million in revenue with an EPS loss of $0.12, beating Wall Street’s expectations of $283 million in revenue and EPS loss of $0.14, plus a loss of a half a million users. Snap entered earnings with a $6.99 share price, close to its $6.46 all-time low and way down from its $24 IPO opening price. Snap lost $325 million this quarter compared to $353 million in Q2, so it’s making some progress with its cost cutting. That briefly emboldened Wall Street, which pushed the sha [...]
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White House belatedly begins planning for 5G with memo asking for policy recommendations
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The White House has issued a memorandum outlining the need for a new national wireless connectivity strategy; the document doesn’t really establish anything new, but does request lots of reports on how things are going. Strangely, what it proposes sounds a lot like what the FCC already does. The memorandum, heralded by a separate post announcing that “America Will Win the Global Race to 5G,” is not exactly a statement of policy, though it does put a few things out there. It’s actually more of a request for information on which to base a future policy — apparently one that will win us a global race that began years ago. In fact, the U.S. has been pursuing a broad 5G policy for quite a while now, and under President Obama we were the first country to allocate spect [...]
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Facebook launches Candidate Info where politicians pitch on camera
techcrunch.com
Facebook wants to make YouTube-style monologue videos the new way for politicians to talk straight with their constituency. Today, Facebook launches Candidate Info, featuring thousands of direct-to-camera vertical videos where federal, state and local candidates introduce themselves and explain their top policy priority, qualifications and biggest goal if they win office. Elizabeth Warren (D – MA Senate), Scott Walker (R – WI Governor) and Beto O’Rourke (D – TX Senate) have already posted, and Facebook expects more candidates to jump in shortly. These videos will soon be available as part of an Election 2018 bookmark in the Facebook mobile app’s navigation drawer. And starting next week, the clips will begin appearing to potential constituents in the News Fe [...]
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Messenger redesigns to clean up Facebook’s mess
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If Facebook Messenger’s redesign succeeds, you won’t really notice it even happened. I hardly did over the past week of testing. There’s just a subtle sense that the claustrophobia has lifted. Perhaps that’s why Facebook decided to throw a big breakfast press event with 30 reporters today at its new downtown San Francisco office, complete with an Instagram-worthy donut wall. Even though the changes are minimal — fewer tabs, color-gradient thread background and a rounder logo — Facebook was eager to trigger an unequivocally positive news cycle. Old Messenger versus New Messenger In the seven years since Facebook acquired group chat app Beluga and turned it into Messenger, it’s done nothing but cram in more features. With five navigation bar options [...]
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iPharmacy Roman fights stigmas with premature ejaculation meds
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There’s a war brewing to become the cloud pharmacy for men’s health. Roman, which launched last year offering erectile dysfunctional medication and recently added a ‘quit smoking’ kit, is taking on $97 million-funded Hims for the hair loss market. Today, Roman launched four new products it hopes to cross-sell to users through a unified telemedicine subscription and pill delivery app. It now sells meds for premature ejaculation, oral herpes, genital herpes, and hair loss at what’s often a deep discount versus your local drug store. And for those who are too far gone, it’s launching a “Bald Is Beautiful, Too” microsite for finding the best razors, lotions, and head shaving tips. Roman CEO Zachariah Reitano “It’s unlikely that you&# [...]
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A look at the Android Market (aka Google Play) on its 10th Anniversary
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Google Play has generated more than twice the downloads of the iOS App Store, reaching a 70 percent share of worldwide downloads in 2017, according to a new report from App Annie, released in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the Android Market, now called Google Play. The report also examined the state of Google Play’s marketplace and the habits of Android users. It found that, despite the large share of downloads, Google Play only accounted for 34 percent of worldwide consumer spend on apps, compared with 66 percent on the iOS App Store in 2017 — a figure that’s stayed relatively consistent for years. Those numbers are consistent with the narrative that’s been told about the two app marketplaces for some time, as well. That is, Google has the sheer downlo [...]
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