Wednesday, October 21, 2020
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US Justice Antitrust Department sues Google over monopolizing search services


Google is in a legal bind with the Unites Stated Antitrust Department for allegedly denying other search service companies a chance to compete with the search engine giant. The lawsuit, published on Tuesday, outlines all the tactics that Google uses to deny other search engines a chance to compete fairly in search.

The lawsuit was brought forth by Republican Attorneys General of Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, and Texas to stop Google’s anticompetitive conduct and restore competition.

Google Search is integrated into the Google Pixel’s app launcher

The lawsuit outlines that search engines are mostly used on smartphones, tablets, computers, and laptops. “Over the last ten years, internet searches on mobile devices have grown rapidly, eclipsing searches on computers and making mobile devices the most important avenue for search distribution in the United States.”

It is true that Google is the default search browser of most smartphones, browsers, and computers. The lawsuit continues to say that having the search engine set as the default is Google’s way to keeping exclusivity because most people won’t bother to manually change the default search service (which is possible on any Google product).

Google Pixel 4 XL

Google allegedly pays billions of dollars to Apple, LG, Moto, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon to set Google to the default engine and specifically prohibit partners from doing business with alternative search services. Google’s bundling of other apps like Maps and Chrome are also mentioned in the lawsuit as another anticompetitive tactic. The document goes on to point out Google’s grand scale as a corporation lets it use ad revenue from its own search pages to fund the anticompetitive agreements.

Google is expected to give a full response to the lawsuit, but it’s preliminary reply via Twitter claims the lawsuit is deeply flawed. People use Google because they choose to and not because they are forced to.

A parallel was drawn to a lawsuit from nearly 20 years ago when the US sued Microsoft for making it difficult for competing browsers to have room to exist alongside Internet Explorer.

Just last year, Google faced a similar lawsuit from the European Commission for misusing its dominant position to restrict clients to displaying competitors ads alongside AdSense links. Google was fined €1.49 billion. Back in 2018, it was fined €4.3 billion from the same Commission for forcing OEMs to set Chrome and Google Search as default apps.


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Nokia 215 4G and Nokia 225 4G featurephones go global, first stop is India


The Nokia 215 and Nokia 225 with 4G support were announced in China earlier this month and HMD Global has now announced its intentions to expand their availability to the rest of the world. First in line is India with sales scheduled to begin on October 23.

Nokia 215 4G • Nokia 225 4G

Both phones, as the names suggest, support 4G connectivity and work in VoLTE networks. There’s also the beloved FM Radio, durable battery and affordable budget. The Nokia 215 4G and Nokia 225 4G have T9 keyboards, FM Radio, LED flashlight and even microSD slots for storage.

The Nokia 225 4G comes with a camera on the back, positioned below the back-facing speaker. The 1,150mAh battery is bound to last a very long time, considering how power-efficient these featurephones normally are.

Pricing is the key feature of those two phones. Nokia is offering the 215 4G in Cyan Green or Black for INR2,949 or about $40. First sales are reserved for Nokia’s own website, but Flipkart and other “leading retail outlets” will offer it starting November 6.

The Nokia 225 4G is a bit more expensive – INR3,499 (approximately $47) for a phone in Classic Blue, Metallic Sand, or Black color option. While the launch date for the in-house store is the same, the arrival date at third-party sellers is different – November 18.

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iOS 14.1 and iPadOS 14.1 now rolling out with bug fixes aplenty


This Friday Apple’s newly unveiled iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are officially becoming available, and ahead of that the company is pushing out a software update to all of its supported phones and tablets.

iOS 14.1 and iPadOS 14.1 are now rolling out, and both of these are, as the minor version number incrementation shows, small updates, focused on fixing bugs.

And there are a lot of such fixes included, for sure. Here’s the full changelog courtesy of Apple itself:

– Adds support for 10-bit HDR video playback and edit in ‌Photos‌ for ‌iPhone‌ 8 and later

– Addresses an issue where some ‌widgets‌, folders, and icons were showing up in reduced size on the Home Screen

– Addresses an issue where dragging ‌widgets‌ on the ‌Home Screen‌ could remove apps from folders

– Fixes an issue where some emails in Mail were sent from an incorrect alias

– Fixes an issue that could prevent incoming calls from displaying region information

– Fixes an issue on some devices where selecting zoomed display mode and an alphanumeric passcode could result in the Lock Screen emergency call button overlapping with the text input box

– Addresses an issue where some users were occasionally unable to download or add songs to their library while viewing an album or playlist

– Fixes an issue that could prevent zeroes from appearing in Calculator

– Resolves an issue where streaming video resolution could temporarily be reduced at the start of playback

– Fixes an issue that prevented setting up a family member’s Apple Watch for some users

– Resolves an issue where the Apple Watch case material was displayed incorrectly in the Apple Watch app

– Addresses an issue in the Files app that could cause some MDM-managed cloud service providers to incorrectly display content as unavailable

– Improves compatibility with Ubiquiti wireless access points

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are expected to ship running iOS 14.1, or at least pop up an update notification for it as soon as you set them up. Apple is, at the same time, continuing development of the 14.2 branches of iOS and iPadOS, with a fourth beta seeded to developers. A final iteration of that software version will probably be out in a few weeks.


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Nokia 2 V Tella for Verizon arrives at Walmart for $89, packs a 5.45″ screen


HMD Global unveiled a new entry-level phone for Verizon, the Nokia 2 V Tella (a successor to the earlier 2 V model). The phone starts at $89 and you can find it at and physical Walmart phones now.

It has a 5.45” display with 720p+ resolution (18:9) and runs Android 10 out of the box. The full fat Android, not Go like the original 2 V or the similarly-priced Nokia 1.3. On the side of phone there is a Google Assistant button.

The Tella is powered by a MediaTek Helio A22 chipset, a 12nm part with four Cortex-A53 cores (2.0 GHz) and a PowerVR GE8320 GPU. The chipset is paired with 2GB of RAM and 16GB storage (double what the original 2 V got). A microSD card slot is available if you need more room.

The camera is another upgrade, the rear is now home to an 8MP main shooter and a 2MP depth sensor. The latter is used for customizable bokeh effects, you can pick between Classic, Star, Heart, Butterfly, Flake and Water Drop.

The camera snaps photos before and after you press the shutter, then lets you pick the best one. There’s also a Portrait mode that works even in the dark.

The Nokia 2 V Tella packs a 3,000mAh battery, which HMD says is enough to last 2 days of general use. It charges over USB-C and while 10W charging is supported, you only get a 5W adapter in the box. An “AI-assisted Adaptive Battery” keeps an eye on what apps you use the most and allots a bigger share of the battery to them.

In terms of connectivity, the Tella features LTE Cat. 6, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2 and has a built-in GPS for positioning. There’s also a 3.5 mm headphone jack plus FM radio receiver.

The Nokia 2 V Tella is available only in Blue

Note that the $89 price tag is for a prepaid phone, the full retail price is $168, which matches Verizon’s Nokia 3 V (though expect to get it for free if you sign a contract).


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Microsoft Outlook for iPad gains support to attach files with drag & drop


The latest version of Outlook for iPad supports drag & drop between apps in Split View, a feature that iPadOS introduced back in 2018. Still, better late than never as this can significantly improve up your workflow.

You can drag contacts from Search into the recipients list, then pick a few files from OneDrive, Files, Photos or Safari and drag them over as attachments for the email. This is new in Outlook version 4.60.0.

Microsoft added Split View and Slide Over support to Outlook earlier this year (in February). Previously, you could only drag & drop text into the app.

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MagSafe Charger found to work on Galaxy Z Fold2, Pixel 5


Arguably the most attention-grabbing addition of the iPhone 12 series (apart from 5G) is the new MagSafe accessory ecosystem. The premise is simple all new iPhones have a magnetic ring around the wireless charging coil on their backs, which can snap to a range of accessories from wallets to mounts and wireless charging pads. The MagSafe charger is Apple’s first foray into wireless charging for iPhone after the whole AirPower fiasco but now it was found to be working just fine on some non-Apple phones.

Granted the MagSafe charger works on the Qi interface so any device that supports the standard will get juice from it. It’s currently the only way to get 15W speeds through wireless charging on iPhones but now we get to see it actually attaches to other magnet-touting phones as well. Max Weinbach tested out a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 which has its own set of magnets to help it stay closed and it worked just fine.

He shared the foldable managed to stay attached to the new MagSafe charger just fine though the charger could snap away if you shook it around with some force. We also did not get any details on the actual charging speeds though we presume they will stick to 7.5W as only iPhone 12 units are advertised to reach 15W speeds.

The new Google Pixel 5 was also tested with MagSafe charger on video and managed to hold on quite well. Aaron Zollo aka zollotech tested out Google’s 2020 flagship with Apple’s new charger and its snapped in place quite well.

We know Google engineered a plastic circular opening in Pixel 5’s aluminum casing specifically for wireless charging which should be the reason why it managed to work so well. We’ll be on the lookout to see what other phones play nice with the MagSafe charger.

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Apple’s AirTags coming soon in two sizes


Apple’s expected AirTags trackers are seemingly ready to be announced and the latest rumor claims they will come in two sizes – big and small. The information comes from insider @L0vetodream, who first broke the news that Apple’s most compact 2020 iPhone will be called iPhone 12 mini.

Up until now we’ve heard that Apple is already mass-producing AirTags and they’re ready for announcement and we even expected them to make an appearance both at Apple’s September and October events. Then we heard that Apple will push AirTags’ announcement to March 2021 due to manufacturing issues.

Now it’s rumored that AirTags will make their debut alongside Apple’s $600 AirPods Studio in November. Let’s see if third time’s the charm.

Concept lead image courtesy of Jon Prosser.

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New DJI Pocket 2 brings updated sensor, optics, and audio


DJI has launched the new Pocket 2, the second generation version of the original Osmo Pocket.

The new Pocket 2 features the same compact design of the previous model with the gimbal-mounted camera for stabilized images and video. However, it now features a larger 1/1.7″ 64MP sensor that can shoot images in 16MP or full 64MP. You get 8x zoom in 64MP mode or 4x lossless zoom in 16MP mode. Autofocus has also been improved.

The Pocket 2 can also record video in 4K at 60fps. The video is saved at 100Mbps for a cleaner, less compressed image. The camera also supports shooting in HDR. The video mode also benefits from the improved autofocus system.

DJI has also greatly improved the audio. The Pocket 2 has four microphones placed around it to record stereo sound. The software adjusts the audio automatically based on where the camera is pointing. The Pocket 2 also supports audio zoom to narrow the field of sound when zooming in.

The Pocket 2 also comes with additional features, like a pro mode, ActiveTrack 3.0 to track a subject and keep it in frame, 8x slow motion at 1080p, timelapse, hyperlapse, and motionlapse, panoramas, livestreaming to Facebook, YouTube, or RTMP, and a story mode.

The Pocket 2 also supports several new accessories, including a sleek new charging case, wireless microphone set, waterproof housing, a smaller control wheel, extension rod, wide-angle lens, wireless module, and smartphone support system. The base is removable and lets you attach modular accessories like a base to attach the Micro Tripod, and a Do-It-All Handle with a tripod base, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module, speaker, 3.5mm audio jack, and wireless microphone receiver.

The DJI Pocket 2 is priced at $349 and comes with the Mini Control Stick and tripod mount (1/4”). You can also get the Creator Combo that includes the Mini Control Stick, tripod mount (1/4”), Wide-Angle Lens, Wireless Microphone + Windscreen, Do-It-All Handle, and Micro Tripod for $499. It is available starting today from and authorized retail partners.


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OnePlus 8T review – tests



Launching at €599, the OnePlus 8T is shaping up as an excellent premium mid-ranger with a slew of flagship features – a 120Hz Fluid AMOLED, the latest Snapdragon 865 chip, a promising quad-camera with improved low-light performance, stereo speakers, and probably OnePlus best achievement yet – a larger battery with blazing-fast Warp Charge at 65W.

At the company’s fall event this year, a Pro model was a notable absentee. This is because the company keeps the 8 Pro as its ongoing flagship device, and it won’t be getting a refresh until 2021.

The OnePlus 8 needed the update, so we won’t object to this strategic move. We doubt many OnePlus 8 owners are thinking of switching, but it makes the two current offerings that much more desirable for anyone in the market for a new phone.

If we compare it with the OnePlus 8, the 8T is getting a 120Hz OLED vs. 90Hz. At the same time, its main camera gets a brighter aperture for the main camera, an even wider ultra-wide lens, and an additional depth camera. Finally, you get a 4,500mAh battery with 65W charging vs. 4,300mAh and 30W charging. Okay, these are not the wildest upgrades we’ve seen, but for they are enough to make the cheaper OnePlus devices in the duo desirable again.

The €600 smartphone segment is already oversaturated, and it is the place where the flagship killers come to win big or die trying. With the OnePlus being the company that coined the term, its cheaper non-Pro models are burdened with the impossible task to defend the title. As long as they don’t kill the company’s own flagship, of course.

The OnePlus 8T is the first phone to come with the OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11 out of the box. Many of the recent OnePlus phones are getting the update, too, but being first is a title that only the 8T can claim.

Let’s take a closer look at the specs sheet. There aren’t many changes, but it is a flagship-like list, and we like what we are seeing.

OnePlus 8T specs:

  • Body: 160.7×74.1×8.4mm, 188g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass), glass back (Gorilla Glass), aluminum frame; Colors: Aquamarine Green, Lunar Silver.
  • Display: 6.55″ Fluid AMOLED, 1080x2400px, 20:9, 402ppi; 120Hz, HDR10+, Always-on display.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (7 nm+): Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 585 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 585); Adreno 650.
  • Memory: 8GB/12GB RAM, 128/256GB UFS 3.1 storage.
  • OS/Software: Android 11, OxygenOS 11.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 48 MP, f/1.7, 26mm, 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS; Ultrawide-angle: 16 MP, f/2.2, 14mm, 123˚, 1/3.6″, 1.0µm; Macro: 5 MP, f/2.4; Depth: 2 MP, f/2.4; Dual-LED flash, HDR, panorama.
  • Front camera: 16 MP, f/2.4, (wide), 1/3.06″, 1.0µm; Auto-HDR.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, Auto HDR, gyro-EIS; Front camera: 1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS.
  • Battery: 4500mAh; Fast charging 65W, 100% in 39 min (advertised).
  • Misc: Fingerprint (under display, optical); stereo speakers; NFC.

The OnePlus 8T is not water-resistant, not unless you are getting the T-Mobile exclusive OnePlus 8T+ 5G model, which is the same phone but with IP68 certification. Don’t sigh just yet – the OnePlus 8T does comes with many, if not all, seals and protections the T-Mobile model has. It will most probably survive a water drop, too.

The bright red Never Settle box is already here, and the excitement is building up. The OnePlus 8T may not be among the more interesting updates this year, but c’mon – look at this sweet reviewers’ package!

And now that you’ve seen what we got, here is what you are getting if you choose to buy the OnePlus 8T.

Unboxing the OnePlus 8T

The OnePlus 8T comes packed in what’s already a signature long red box. Inside, you will find your new 8T, be it the glossy Aquamarine Green or the frosted Lunar Silver, and a transparent Never Settle case.

Digging deeper, you will also see the 65W Warp Charger and its thick and red USB-C-to-C cable. The charger also supports USB-PD, so you can use it to charge other devices such as laptops, consoles, tablets, and smartphones.

Finally, there is this paper compartment, where you’d find some paperwork and a bunch of OnePlus stickers.

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Sweden bans Huawei and ZTE from providing 5G equipment


The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) has announced today that four companies are approved to compete in an auction for 5G spectrum. Two of the license conditions that PTS imposed are new installations must not be carried out with products from Huawei and ZTE; also existing infrastructure must be phased out by 2025.

These two conditions are imposed by PTS alongside other local requirements, such as central functions that should take place in Sweden and the eventual license holder should make sure that the use of the bands does not cause harm to Sweden’s security.

The four main license conditions were decided by the regulator in coordination with the Swedish Armed Forces and Swedish Security Service. This is the second major European country that has issued such a decree, following the UK that ordered Huawei equipment for 5G networks to be completely gone from the country by 2027.

Reuters said that the two Chinese telecommunications companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment but predicted such actions will affect other 5G equipment providers such as the Swedish-based Ericsson and Nokia, based in neighboring Finland.

The participants in the auction are Hi3G Access, Net4Mobility (a joint venture of Tele2 and Telenor), Telia Sverige, and Teracom which will compete for the 3.5 GHz and 2.3 GHz spectrums. Speaking to Reuters, a spokesperson of Tele2 confirmed the decision “does not change our plans substantially” and the company will phase out equipment on a gradual basis in order to match the security conditions without affecting the stability of the network.

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