Google Assistant Can Now Send Payments Via Google Pay

Google today updated Google Assistant on Android and iOS devices with the ability to send mobile payments. Google says people can easily send or request money from their contact list for free. Google Pay is required for the sender, and those who haven’t yet set it up will be prompted to enroll. Recipients, however, do not need to have a Google Pay account. Google says funds are transferred almost instantaneously. Recipients who do have Google Pay will be alerted via email, text, or push notification so they can cash out. To use the tool, people need to say something like “Hey Google, send Jane $15 for lunch today.” Google says this feature will eventually reach its Google Home smart speakers. There are no fees associated with using the service. Google Assistant is free to download from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 May Be Coming Sooner than Thought

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was announced in August 2017 and hit stores in September, but we might see the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 slightly earlier in the year, as Samsung is apparently already working on firmware for the phone.

SamMobile reports that firmware builds with version numbers N960FXXE0ARB7 and N960FXXU0ARC5 are both being tested.

OK, that might not sound super exciting, but the timing of these tests is, as the company didn’t start testing firmware for the Galaxy Note 8 until early April.

That’s only a couple of weeks difference, but as SamMobile notes, the company also started testing Samsung Galaxy S9 firmware two weeks earlier than Galaxy S8 firmware tests had started the previous year, and it went on to announce the S9 around a month earlier, in February rather than March.

July Rather than August

So this suggests a similar schedule could be planned for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, meaning the phone might be announced two weeks or more earlier in the year than the Note 8, potentially bringing it up to July.

We wouldn’t count on this at all, as the evidence so far is slight, but it’s a possibility.

Whenever we see the Note 9 though it should be worth the wait, as at the very least it’s likely to be a larger, stylus-toting alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, but some rumors suggest it could be a major upgrade, with a fingerprint scanner built into the screen.
Source: Mobile Tech Today

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker – Review

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

I have a bit of a problem with fitness trackers. Those that I’ve looked at in the past have inevitably come from the cheaper end of the spectrum and were Chinese imports. Y’know the sort – a brand you don’t truly recognise, but it’s £10.

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

The thing is, you’ve got to pay a bit more for quality. Here, it’s not really a great deal more either. This one is less than £50 on Amazon and it’s made by Huawei. It hooks into the Huawei Wear app on your phone and keeps an eye on your exercise. You can see how many steps you’ve done today. How far you’ve gone, how many calories you’ve burned and so on. You can also track your running or cycling.

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

There’s also now the ability to track your indoor running on a treadmill in the gym, which I rather liked.

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

Not only that, but this also tells you the time and shows you the date. Useful bits like that. You can also tie it in with your notifications and have it display the first part of a message – I use it especially for WhatsApp messages, which is particularly useful. You can also hook it into texts, emails and so on.

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

I started off using the Huawei Wear app, but lately the Huawei Health app has become the place to go if you want to get all your health information and pair your Band. To be honest it’s good to see this transition, as having two apps was a bit of a faff. Now you just install Huawei Health and off you go.

You also get Training Plans here, although it does seem to be geared towards running rather than cycling. Another little bugbear is the fact that you can’t really integrate with popular activity-sharing sites like Strava. Sure, there’s the ability to hook into Google Fit, MyFitnessPal and UP by Jawbone. That said, I have seen a number of improvements with the whole Huawei fitness app and the Band itself lately, so I’m hoping it won’t be too far off.

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

Circling back to my opening comments, I’ve perhaps been put off by my previous bad experiences with fitness bands. The battery life, in particular, was a pain – especially on bands that had notification and GPS technology built in.

Here, I can honestly say that I’ve had none of that. I can’t honestly remember the last time I charged this, and I’ve used the GPS quite a bit on cycle rides ad runs. When I saw that the box quoted a “21 day battery life” I laughed my socks off…

..but it’s true. It really is. I have to hunt out the little attachment that magically clicks onto the bottom of the band and (via a microUSB) and it charges super quick. That attachment doo-hickey has to go in a “special place” because otherwise I’d honestly forget where the thing was – I use it that infrequently.

In addition to all that, there’s Heart Rate Monitoring so that you can see what your heart is doing at rest and during exercise. It’ll even tell you off when your heart rate is getting too high, as it did a few times during my runs and cycling. This was useful, and the vibration reassuring, although I could also tell I was pushing quite hard by the level of sweat pouring off my brow.

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Is this comfortable? Yes. Yes it is. I’ve worn this more than any watch or band that I’ve worn in many years and yes, I can safely say that it’s very comfortable indeed. The way it fits and locks in place is neat too. Really easy. It looks and feels great.

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

At the bottom of the screen is a small touch-sensitive area / button where you choose what you’d like to do. Anything more advanced than that is accessible through the companion app. Tap once and you can do an indoor run. Tap again for an outdoor cycle and – if you long-press to confirm – it’ll crank up the GPS and start tracking you. This is more advanced than just tracking your cycle ride with your phone. Here you get your average heart rate, max, minimum and lots of data about climb, speed, pace, training effect, recovery time, advice and a map of where you went. Likewise with an outdoor run. Oh, and it’s also waterproof up to 5ATM so you can track a swim, wear it in the shower and use it in the rain. That “5ATM” means that you can dive down to 50 metres.

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

You can take ad-hoc heart-rate readings, plus there’s a feature called “Breathe” which seems to try and get you all relaxed by telling you what your breathing is like.

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

I don’t tend to wear things like this at night but it can also report on your sleeping habits and patterns – this is the whole kitchen sink here, honestly. It’ll not only track sleep – it also shows how much light, deep and REM sleep you’re getting.

When you’ve woken up and you get to work, it’ll also tell you how much sitting you’ve been doing. It’ll remind you to move around and you can alter how often it does this too. There’s also the infamous step count and you can check how many calories you’ve burned and how far you’ve walked – all from the band itself.

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

 

At times I was pretty amazed at the thing. Especially the indoor runs. I couldn’t quite figure out how it was measuring my distance so accurately without the aid of GPS, but somehow it mostly got it spot on and it was pretty lined up with the gym equipment. Deep inside the band there’s a raft of sensors which help to make this happen – GPS and that heart-rate sensor are of course two, but you also get a 3-axis accelerometer, a detached PPG Cardiotachometer (don’t ask me) and an Infrared Wear Sensor.

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

Put all this together and it means that the Band can estimate the VO2 max along with biometric data. The VO2 max basically (and I had to read up on this) is a measurement of how much oxygen your blood can store. Good for stamina I believe. I won’t tell you what mine is 🙂

As I mentioned earlier, the app has improved greatly in recent months and I also received an update to the band which added that Indoor Running functionality. Good to see this. There’s always a slight smile on my face when I see that developers are nudging a product along and you feel “cared for” in a way.

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

The app has a couple of main tabs. The “Home” one is where you’ll mostly be, but you can head into “Me” and set your goals (whether it be weight reduction or steps) and set your profile – your weight, height and date of birth, plus your gender etc. It’s good this bit, but here in the UK we use a weird mish-mash of units. The app gives you “Imperial” or “Metric”, which means you’ll either have to work out your weight and height in kilograms / metres or use “Imperial” and suddenly try and figure out what your weight is in pounds (lb), which we really don’t tend to do here.

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

You can also tweak a lot of settings here too, including your heart rate interval and monitoring. It’s set to 178 bpm on mine and I’ve had it alert me a few times for hitting that. You also get sections where you can set warm-up, anaerobic and aerobic bpm’s. All very clever stuff this.

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

There’s a couple more options here, including GPS auto-track (I didn’t have this on) and some toggles for step count etc. You can also hop into the all-important device section here and set the Huawei TrueSleep up (this can be activated if you wish), you can enable / disable the activity reminder, set an alarm, a do not disturb and a whole lot more.

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

Wear the Band on your other wrist? You can set that. Want to move around the sequence of activity options on the Band? You can do that. Want to select which Android apps you want notifications from? You can do that too.

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

This is really the place to control your Band itself, and there’s a lot of options to flick through.

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

Here you can see the results of my bike ride into the office. I’ve used 265kcal, which is about half a cup of coffee at Starbucks (based on a tall latte). Not much after pedalling nearly 13 miles is it eh?

You can then see your speed breakdown, your heart rate and it’ll all come together to show you how close you are to your target.

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

The depth of data that you can get here is very good indeed, and I was constantly surprised at the battery life and the sheer usefulness of the band. It was simple to use, to understand and very comfortable to wear. It’ll even do things like merging data from two separate sources – such as getting your step count from your phone and your Huawei Band. A nice little touch that.

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review
Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review
Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review
Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review
Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review
Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review
Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review
Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

Overall

I’ve got to say, for the money, this is high-class bit of kit. Sure, I’ve somehow scratched the screen and it won’t talk to Strava (I’ve taken to carrying my phone too, which is kinda daft). Sure, there’s probably a way around this by using Google Fit and exporting it, then importing it, but that’s a bit of a faff. I’d like to see some more training plans being added too, but I did get a sense that continual improvements were being made, and I’m confident that we’ll see further changes.

Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker   Review

This is far more than just a step counter. This is a mobile notification device, a proper fitness tracker which keeps an eye on your heart rate, your movement, your sleep, speed and overall sports activities. It advises you on how long you should rest between activities. It helps you along, it coaches you in a way and there’s some very complicated data shown in a very straightforward way.

For the money it’s incredibly comfortable to wear, easy to put on, easy to pair and easy to use. There’s now just one accompanying app and it syncs together easily. The battery life, well, that’s just epic. Despite the fact that I can’t really see the screen a great deal in the daylight, I have to admit that I love the thing, I really do. Get one on Amazon for £49 or get more information from the Huawei website.

 

 

 

The post Huawei Band 2 Pro Fitness Tracker – Review is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.


Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

Crisis Experts Say Facebook Is Blowing It on Data Scandal

The crisis-management playbook is pretty simple: Get ahead of the story, update authorities and the public regularly, accept responsibility and take decisive action. Crisis-management experts say that until Wednesday, Facebook was 0-for-4.


Facebook’s two top executives, CEO Mark Zuckerberg and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, went radio silent after news broke last Friday that political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica may have used data improperly obtained from roughly 50 million Facebook users to try to sway elections, including the 2016 White House race.


It was not until five days after the scandal erupted that Zuckerberg spoke up.


Meanwhile, some Facebook users have been leaving the social network or mulling the possibility , and Facebook’s stock is down 9 percent since Friday.


Facebook’s handling of the growing public-relations crisis is remarkable in that one of the world’s biggest companies seems not to be playing by well-established crisis-management rules.


“This will go down as the textbook case study as how not to handle a crisis,” said Scott Galloway, a New York University professor of marketing. “The only thing we know about this and are comfortable predicting is that it’s going to get worse.”


In his statement Wednesday — posted, of course, on Facebook — Zuckerberg acknowledged that mistakes were made, outlined changes the company has undertaken, and accepted responsibility for the problem.


Experts said acknowledging accountability was a positive but the fact that Zuckerberg didn’t outright apologize is a negative.


“My biggest skepticism is that we’ve seen this play before,” said Helio Fred Garcia, a professor of crisis management at NYU and Columbia University in New York. “They’re caught coming short of customers’ privacy expectations. They tweak procedures. But they don’t seem to learn from mistakes, don’t really seem to care.”


Most Fortune 500 companies adhere to well-established crisis-management rules. When video surfaced of a passenger being dragged from an overbooked United…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

O2 refresh plans and add better roaming

O2 have announced a new range of pay monthly plans for customers, with allowances ranging from 1GB up to 50GB.

These plans are flexible and allow customers to switch between plans when needed, giving them better value for money.

O2 refresh plans and add better roaming

Better news for some though is the fact they now offer free roaming in 75 countries around the world, and it includes the USA and Australia.

Speeds are capped at 3G, but considering that is more than enough for most users, and it doesn’t cost a penny, this is a great offer from the company.

Check below for the full press release.

O2 gives customers even more control with launch of new range of flexible tariffs and roaming to 75 destinations

  • O2 launches new flexible O2 Refresh tariffs across all handsets and tablets
  • New tariffs include roaming in 75 destinations at no extra cost, featuring countries such as the USA, Australia and New Zealand

O2 has today launched a brand new set of flexible Pay Monthly O2 Refresh tariffs. The new tariffs, ranging from 1GB to 50GB, allow customers choosing any available handset or tablet to move their airtime bills up and down each month.

The launch follows O2’s pioneering work at the end of last year when flexible tariffs were first introduced to give customers even more flexibility and control over their bills. Now, due to extensive customer feedback, flexible tariffs are available to all new and upgrading customers on O2 Refresh.

Customers can move to a higher or lower tariff once every billing month, depending on how much data they anticipate using. Breaking away from conventional fixed plans, customers who want 1GB of data one month can do so on a £16 tariff, then switch to pay £36 a month if they want to increase their data to 50GB – giving customers the peace of mind that the package they choose will always be right for them.

What’s more, on selected new tariffs, customers who already enjoying roaming at no extra cost in O2’s Europe Zone can now benefit from roaming* in 27 additional destinations worldwide**, including countries such as the USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Nina Bibby, CMO at O2 said: “Last year we put O2 customers back in control of their data with the introduction of revolutionary flexible tariffs. Now we’re taking this new, flexible approach even further by giving customers more choice to move their airtime bills up and down each month on our entire range of O2 Refresh smartphones and tablets. Not only do we offer customers more flexibility and control, but we are also introducing more places to roam than any other major operator, with 75 destinations at no extra cost.”

With O2 Refresh, customers don’t pay for a phone they already own. Originally launched in April 2013, the groundbreaking tariff changed the way people buy mobile phones by separating the cost of their phone from the cost of their minutes, texts and data. Customers who want to upgrade early from another handset need only pay off the remaining balance of their Device Plan to stay bang-up-to-date. What’s more, customers who want to keep their phone after two years will only pay for their monthly Airtime Plan from that point.

For more information on terms and conditions, visit o2.co.uk.

The post O2 refresh plans and add better roaming is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.


Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

InfluxData Contributes Go Implementation to Apache Arrow

SAN FRANCISCO — March 22, 2018 — InfluxData, the modern Open Source Platform built specifically for metrics, events and other time series data that empowers developers to build next-generation monitoring, analytics and IoT applications, today announced its support of The Apache® Software Foundation (ASF) by contributing the Go programing language implementation it developed to the Apache Arrow™ project.

The all-volunteer ASF develops, stewards, and incubates more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives that serve as the backbone for some of the world’s most visible and widely used applications in Big Data, Cloud Computing, IoT and Edge Computing, and Web Frameworks, among other categories. This includes Apache Arrow, which is a cross-language development platform for in-memory data. Apache Arrow serves as a component used to accelerate analytics within a particular system and to allow Arrow-enabled systems to exchange data with low overhead. It is sufficiently flexible to support most complex data models.

“We are excited to have the support offered by InfluxData and appreciate the company donating its Go language expertise and implementation to Apache Arrow in the spirit of benefiting the greater Open Source community,” said Jacques Nadeau, VP Apache Arrow. “Go is becoming an increasingly popular language, and having InfluxData contribute code to Apache Arrow will increase its adoption across the industry.”

Apache Arrow specifies a standardized, language-independent, columnar memory format for flat and hierarchical data that is organized for efficient, analytic operations on modern hardware. It also provides computational libraries and zero-copy streaming messaging and inter-process communication.

In working with the Apache Arrow community, InfluxData desired a highly performant, in-memory, column-based format that can be shared between an ecosystem of data analytics tools, as well as the data and processing tiers of InfluxData?EU?s platform. Contributing its Go language implementation for Apache Arrow,…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

Best Buy to Stop Selling Huawei Phones

Best Buy is expected to drop products made by Huawei over the next few weeks, reports CNET. Citing a source familiar with Best Buy’s plan, CNET says the company will sell through the stock of devices such as Huawei’s smartphones that are already in its stores, but the electronics retailer will not replenish supplies of Huawei phones. Huawei has faced scrutiny from some in Washington over its ties to the Chinese government. Some believe the Chinese government could use Huawei handsets for espionage purposes. Earlier this year, government pressure led AT&T and Verizon Wireless to cancel plans to sell the Mate 10 Pro from Huawei, the company’s flagship smartphone. The Mate 10 Pro is available to Americans online from retailers such as B&H Photo and Amazon. Huawei has been banned from selling telecommunications gear in the U.S. for some time. Neither Best Buy nor Huawei commented directly on the matter concerning smartphone sales.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Samsung's Exynos 9610 Packs Imaging Smarts and 4K Slow-Mo

Samsung today announced the Exynos 7 Series 9610 mobile application processor, a chip built using Samsung’s 10nm FinFET process that targets high-end smartphones. The octa-core processor has four Cortex A-73 cores at 2.3 GHz and four Cortex A-53 cores at 1.6 GHz. These are paired with ARM’s newer Bifrost-based Mali-G72 GPU for gaming. A Cortex-M4F low-power sensing hub handles the constant street of information generated by sensors, gestures, and other inputs without waking the main processor. One of the key advancements of this chip is the addition of a neural network engine for face detection that can recognize faces covered with hats or hair or glasses. The 9610 also has more advanced depth-sensing for bokeh photos, better low-light augmentation, and processes to reduce signal-to-noise ratio in photos and videos. When it comes to other media, the 9610 can handle slow-motion capture and playback at up to 480 frames per second (half that of the Galaxy S9). More interestingly, the revised image signal processor uses a multi-format codec that allows encoding and decoding slow motion at resolutions up to 4K at 120fps. On the connectivity side of things, the 9610 supports Cat 12 LTE with three-channel carrier aggregation for up to 600 Mbps on the downlink and Cat 13 LTE with two-channel carrier aggregation for up to 150 Mbps on the uplink. It also includes 2×2 MIMO WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, and an FM radio. Samsung says the Exynos 7 Series 9610 is expected to be mass produced in the second half of this year.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Can Spotify and Dropbox Restore Faith in Tech IPOs?

The message to investors from Spotify last week had a familiar ring for any veteran of the tech gold rush: “The trend towards profitability is clear.”

The music streaming service is hoping to banish the memory of a difficult year for technology flotations. Similar promises of digital alchemy — heavy cash investment transforming into an ever-burgeoning bottom line — followed the stock-market launch of Snap last year. So far, investors in the owner of Snapchat have been underwhelmed, but last week 35-year-old Daniel Ek, Spotify’s co-founder and chief executive, was adamant that his music streaming service would deliver the kind of returns that have proved elusive for tech upstarts since the blockbuster float of Facebook.

The test for Stockholm-based Spotify will come when it floats in New York on 3 April, while Dropbox, the online file storage company, is preparing to launch its initial public offering this week. Those companies must answer two simple questions: will Spotify ever go into the black and justify the near-$20bn valuation that private trades in its shares put on it; and is Dropbox really worth between $7bn and $8bn ?

With both companies preparing to join US stock markets, they could determine whether investors regain their enthusiasm for new technology stocks after a disappointing year in 2017, during which Snap, meal-kit company Blue Apron and big-data business Cloudera all went for public listings — and disappointed. Shares in Snap are down a quarter since it floated — a poor performance for investors hoping it would emulate Facebook, which has risen nearly 400% since it floated in 2012. (Twitter, meanwhile, finally recorded its first quarterly profit last month, five years after going public.)

One analyst thinks the latest flotations will restore faith. “Spotify and Dropbox have a very good chance of success because the technology world is about one…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

Facebook Feels Like Home, But Is It Time To Move On?

Sure. Take that quiz about which hair-metal band is your spirit animal. Share a few snaps of your toddler at the beach and watch the likes pile up. Comment on that pointed political opinion from the classmate you haven’t seen since the Reagan administration.

Just remember that your familiar, comforting online neighborhood– the people you care about most and those you only kinda like — exists entirely on a corporate planet that’s endlessly ravenous to know more about you and yours.

On a day when our virtual friends wrung their virtual hands about whether to leave Facebook, a thoroughly 21st-century conundrum was hammered home: When your community is a big business, and when a company’s biggest business is your community, things can get very messy.

You saw that all day Tuesday as users watched the saga of Cambridge Analytica unfold and contemplated whether the chance that they had been manipulated again — that their data might have been used to influence an election — was, finally, reason enough to bid Facebook goodbye.

Not an easy choice. After all, how would Mom see photos of the kids?

“Part of me wants Facebook to go down over the Cambridge Analytica scandal but the other part of me has no other way to know when any of my friends or family have a birthday,” Chicago Tribune humorist Rex Huppke tweeted Tuesday — and cross-posted on Facebook.

Facebook, which began as a social network for college students and the academic community, has experienced exodus before, albeit usually more gradually.

Young people have edged away from it in favor of other platforms such as Snapchat, WhatsApp and Instagram (the latter two are owned by Facebook now), and many maintain a presence but use it rarely. Internationally, while Facebook remains widespread, insurgent social networks built around messaging, such as Line in Japan and…
Source: Mobile Tech Today