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SAN FRANCISCO, August 19, 2018 (News Wires) - First-time smartphone users across the Middle East want a fast, reliable experience and storage space at accessible price points. However, entry-level smartphones usually lack the performance and storage that consumers expect, leaving them frustrated and wanting more from their devices.

Enter Android Oreo (Go edition), an operating system created for devices with 1GB RAM or less, that offers users the best of the Android experience at affordable prices. Android Go, for short, comes with a new range of apps from Google designed to run faster while consuming less data, including Web search app Google Go, Google Maps Go, YouTube Go and Google Assistant for Android (Go edition), to quickly send messages, make calls, set alarms and do more, simply by using your voice. It also offers a smooth and responsive experience, while making sure your device gets the latest security updates and features.

Let's look at some of the benefits it has to offer:

Storage: With fewer pre-installed and much lighter apps, you get twice as much storage available out of the box compared with Android Nougat . This means you can store 1,000 more photos directly on your phone! And if you are running low on storage space, the new Files Go app from Google lets you clean up your phone's storage and find files fast.

Speed: No more waiting for apps to open or missing the moment when you take a picture. Lighter apps and a faster OS means your phone never gets bogged down and apps start up 15 per cent faster on average.

Security: Android Oreo (Go edition) comes with the innovative security improvements that launched with Oreo, which means your phone is protected 24/7.

It also comes with Google Play Protect built-in, a malware protection that works to keep your device clean and your data safe. It actively scans new installs, and checks all installed apps daily, no matter where you downloaded them from.

Data saving: Turned on by default, data saver helps you save data instantly and manage data usage any way you choose, by letting you control what apps use your data and when. An app such as YouTube Go allows you to download and watch your favourite videos, while controlling your data spend.

You can choose to download or stream videos, preview videos before you download or watch, choose how many MBs you spend on videos and you can instantly share videos without using any data to transfer.

Google Go: Built from the ground up for new smartphone owners just discovering the Web, Google Go makes it easy to find popular queries, top websites and apps, trending images and GIFs at blazing speed, with minimal typing.

Assistant Go: The Google Assistant for Android (Go edition) is your own personal assistant, always ready to help you get things done on-the-go. Ask it to call mum, play videos, navigate to your favourite coffee shop, and more, just by holding the home button.

Whether you are looking to make the move from a feature phone to a smartphone, or would like an entry level smartphone that can keep up with all your mobile demands, it is now more accessible than ever to get a phone with pure Android experience.

SAN FRANCISCO, August 19, 2018 (News Wires) - As industry watchers think that the 'Apple Car' is dead, the iPhone maker could launch it anytime between 2023 and 2025, a top Apple analyst with Hong Kong-based TF International Securities has claimed.

"Apple will earn its $2 trillion market cap through its services business, an augmented reality headset, and an Apple Car, according to famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who now works for TF International Securities," MacRumors reported.

The analyst, who was earlier with Taiwan-based KGI Securities, has reportedly sent a new note for investors, outlining products that he expects to be released by Apple in the future.

"Apple will launch an Apple Car some time between 2023 and 2025, with the car set to be positioned as 'the next star product'. Kuo foresees the Apple Car revolutionising the automobile market much as the iPhone did back in 2007," the report added.

However, Kuo did not provide details of the possible car or when exactly it might be unveiled.

The Cupertino-based company has largely remained silent on its plans about the Apple Car.

Notably, it has more self-driving car permits in the US state of California than any other technology company. Many industry watchers have called the Apple Car the worst-kept secret of Silicon Valley.

SAN FRANCISCO, August 19, 2018 (News Wires) - Google’s latest improvements to their search engine aim to get users the answers they need quicker - and potentially with less clicks.

When you type a query into Google’s search engine, there’s the ‘Search’ button, which leads you to a snippet of information and various link suggestions, as well as a more playful option - ’I’m feeling lucky’ - a click that will send the user directly to a webpage of Google’s choosing. More specific searches may require full sentences or multiple keywords for a better chance of getting relevant results.

But the search engine giant’s growing capabilities has it feeling lucky too. Google wants to provide multiple subtopic options in order to better guess what the searcher wants to know and show you multiple aspects of a topic with a single search.

Google explains in an official announcement that, for instance, a query such as “quartz vs granite” in a quest to pick a kitchen countertop most often leads to an article that summarises definitions of those materials.

That’s why the latest feature will offer a ‘Knowledge Panel’ with additional topics - for instance, cost, benefit, weight, durability - to narrow down the search and provide what Google thinks are the most common, useful aspects of the topic, making comparisons easier.

The second example the search engine provides in its announcement is the query “emergency fund” - which will lead you to a quick view of information on the recommended size, purpose, and importance of an emergency fund.

The added subtopics - automatically generated based on Google’s “understanding of these topics from content on the web” - will be rolling out in the next few days.

KUALA LUMPUR, August 18, 2018 (News Wires) - If you’re using WhatsApp on Android, you can back up your conversations and other media files directly to Google Drive. At the moment, it takes up space on the cloud and this can be a problem if your WhatsApp backup is huge and you don’t have much space remaining.

All of that is going to change in three months as Google and WhatsApp are getting a better backup solution very soon.

According to WhatsApp, backups will no longer count towards your Google Drive storage quota starting from November 12, 2018.

That means you won’t have to worry about available free space and you can switch phones easily (Android to Android) without losing your existing chats. However, do note that backups that are not updated in more than a year will be automatically removed from Google Drive.

To avoid any potential loss of data, it is recommended that you perform a manual WhatsApp backup before November 12.

If you haven’t backup your WhatsApp to Drive before, you can do so under Menu > Settings > Chats > Chat backup. Just select the Google Drive account and you’re good to go. You can choose between daily, weekly and monthly backups and by default, it’s done
automatically via Wi-Fi at 2am.

Unlike other instant messengers, WhatsApp does not back up your chat history to their servers and you have to use a third party cloud storage provider.

On Android, it uses Google Drive and on iOS devices, your WhatsApp history is backed up to iCloud. Unfortunately, this means that you can’t back up or restore your chat history across different platforms such as Android to iOS, and vice versa.


KUALA LUMPUR, August 18, 2018 (News Wires) - Are you looking for a budget phone with long battery life? The Nokia 2.1 could be the device you’re looking for. HMD Global, the company behind Nokia phones, has officially announced the availability of the Nokia 2.1 in Malaysia.

For a retail price of RM415, the Nokia 2.1 combines a massive 4,000 mAh battery that can last for two days on a single charge, a 5.5-inch HD display and dual front-facing stereo speakers which are quite rare for an entry-level smartphone.

Besides that, it also gets a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage that can be expanded via microSD.

The Nokia 2.1 is running on Android 8.1 Oreo (Go Edition) which is a stripped-down version of Android that is designed to run on entry-level devices.

This will provide a smooth Android experience for phone users with low specs. For taking pictures, the Nokia 2.1 offers an 8MP autofocus main shooter along with a LED flash and the front gets a 5MP fixed focus camera.

SAN FRANCISCO, August 18, 2018 (News Wires) - The US Department of Housing and Urban Development accused Facebook of breaking the law by letting landlords and home sellers use its ad-targeting system to discriminate against potential buyers or tenants.

A formal complaint filed by HUD said that Facebook advertisers were able to target offers of homes available for rent or sale based on factors such as race, religion, gender, nationality, or disabilities.

That precision allowed landlords or home sellers to discriminate against certain groups of people in violation of the US Fair Housing Act, according to the claim.

"When Facebook uses the vast amount of personal data it collects to help advertisers to discriminate, it's the same as slamming the door in someone's face," Anna Maria Farias, HUD's assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity, said in a release.

The formal complaint came after a HUD investigation confirmed that advertisers on Facebook could exclude categories such as people who expressed interest in assistance dogs, parenting, China, or the Bible, according to the agency.

Facebook prohibits discrimination and has strengthened its systems during the past year to protect against targeting being misused by advertisers, a spokesman told AFP.

"There is no place for discrimination on Facebook," the spokesman said.

"We're aware of the statement of interest filed and will respond in court; and we´ll continue working directly with HUD to address their concerns."

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