The future of Android will be a lot smarter, thanks to new programming tools that Google unveiled on Wednesday. The company announced TensorFlow Lite, a version of its machine learning framework that’s designed to run on smartphones and other mobile devices, during the keynote address at its Google I/O developer conference.

“TensorFlow Lite will leverage a new neural network API to tap into silicon-specific accelerators, and over time we expect to see [digital signal processing chips] specifically designed for neural network inference and training,” said Dave Burke, Google’s vice president of engineering for Android. “We think these new capabilities will help power a next generation of on-device speech processing, visual search, augmented reality, and more.”

The Lite framework will be made a part of the open source TensorFlow project soon, and the neural network API will come to the next major release of Android later this year.

The framework has serious implications for what Google sees as the future of mobile hardware. AI-focused chips could make it possible for smartphones to handle more advanced machine learning computations without consuming as much power. With more applications using machine learning to provide intelligent experiences, making that sort of work more easily possible on device is key.

Right now, building advanced machine learning into applications—especially when it comes to training models—requires an amount of computational power that typically requires beefy hardware, a lot of time and a lot of power. That’s not really practical for consumer smartphone applications, which means they often offload that processing to massive datacenter by sending images, text and other data in need of processing over the internet.

Processing that data in the cloud comes with several downsides, according to Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy: Users must be willing to transfer their data to a company’s servers, and they have to be in an environment with rich enough connectivity to make sure the operation is low-latency.

There’s already one mobile processor with a machine learning-specific DSP on the market today. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 system-on-a-chip sports the Hexagon DSP that supports TensorFlow. DSPs are also used for providing functionality like recognizing the “OK, Google” wake phrase for the Google Assistant, according to Moorhead.

Users should expect to see more machine learning acceleration chips in the future, Moorhead said. “Ever since Moore’s Law slowed down, it’s been a heterogeneous computing model,” he said. “We’re using different kinds of processors to do different types of things, whether it’s a DSP, whether it’s a [field-programmable gate array], or whether it’s a CPU. It’s almost like we’re using the right golf club for the right hole.”

Just because your iPhone is locked with a passcode or Touch ID doesn’t mean it’s safe from prying eyes and fingers. From text message notifications to Siri, your phone’s lock screen is brimming with alerts, features, and settings that anyone can tamper with, even after you’ve locked your handset.

Luckily, iOS has plenty of settings that can help lock down your phone’s lock screen. For example, you can keep sensitive notifications hidden, disable controls that could put your lost phone in airplane mode, turn off lock-screen access to Siri, and more.

Turn off lock screen notifications

You’d probably never dream of letting a stranger rifle through your text messages and email inbox, but that’s what could happen if you allow apps like Messages and Mail to put alerts on your iPhone’s lock screen. It’s even possible to reply to a text message or trash a mail message directly from the notification, even if your iPhone is locked.

Turn off lock screen notifications Ben Patterson / IDG

If you don’t want your latest text messages showing up on your iPhone’s lock screen, make sure to disable lock screen alerts for the Messages app.

If you’re worried about the wrong people seeing notifications from Messages, Mail, and other applications on your iPhone’s lock screen, consider turning off lock screen notifications for your most sensitive apps.

Tap Settings > Notifications to see a (probably massive) list of app the apps installed on your iOS device. Tap an app, then switch off the Show on Lock Screen setting to keep the app’s notifications from appearing on your lock screen. Unfortunately, there’s no way to turn off all lock screen notifications at once.

Block access to Today widgets and Notifications

Swipe from left to right on your locked iPhone screen, and you—or anyone else who’s got your device—can see your Today widgets. That means, depending on the widgets you’ve installed, they could check your calendar, peek at your Mail inbox, speed dial your favorite contacts, and more. Some apps are sensitive about what they show when your iPhone is locked—Activity, for example, and Find My Friends, won’t show anything in their widgets until you unlock the phone. 

Block access to Today View and NotificationsBen Patterson / IDG

Your widgets will be accessible to anyone who has your iPhone until you turn off lock screen access for the Today View.

Also, if you swipe down from the top of the Today view, you’ll see a running tally of all your lock screen notifications, neatly organized by date. Essentially, it’s a history of your important app activity for the past week, all there for anyone to see.

If you don’t want just anyone to be able to view your agenda in the Today view or past app alerts in Notifications, you can tap Settings > Touch ID & Passcode, scroll down to the Allow Access When Locked section, then uncheck the Today View and Notifications View settings.

A lawsuit by Waymo, alleging the use by rival Uber Technologies of stolen trade secrets relating to autonomous vehicle technology, has been referred by a federal judge to a U.S. attorney, raising the possibility of a criminal prosecution.

“This case is referred to the United States Attorney for investigation of possible theft of trade secrets based on the evidentiary record supplied thus far concerning plaintiff Waymo LLC’s claims for trade secret misappropriation,” wrote Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California late Thursday.

“The Court takes no position on whether a prosecution is or is not warranted, a decision entirely up to the United States Attorney,” Judge Alsup added.

In another order, the Judge also rejected Uber’s motion that most of the claims of the lawsuit should be settled through arbitration, a process that is usually conducted in private, and is cheaper and faster than a federal lawsuit.

The dispute in the autonomous vehicle technology market reflects the stiff competition to get driverless vehicles in the hands of consumers. Besides Waymo and Uber, a number of other tech companies and traditional car makers are targeting the new opportunity.

Waymo filed a suit in February in the California court, alleging that a former employee Anthony Levandowski stole trade secrets relating to self-driving cars before leaving to start Otto, a self-driving trucking company that was later acquired by Uber. Other former Waymo employees who left for Uber and Otto were also found downloading sensitive files, Waymo claimed.

Waymo has also charged Uber of of infringing on two of its patents.

The Alphabet unit has alleged in its complaint that Uber got a head start by pilfering its technology, and built its own comparable LiDAR system within nine months. Before he quit, Levandowski led a team of Waymo engineers who developed LiDAR technology for its self-driving car project, according to court documents.

Advertisement

Often given an enormous share of spotlight are top-tier flagship smartphones, but people often forget that midrange devices are just as crucial to the growth of the Android ecosystem. For one, developing countries are more likely to purchase them than steeply priced top-tier devices, thus enabling Google to cast a wide net and capture a diverse set of people that can use its products and services.

Qualcomm knows that midrange devices are important, too, so it’s upgrading last year’s Snapdragon 653 and 626 with the Snapdragon 660 and 630, respectively. The new chips will offer more power, features, faster connectivity, and increased battery life and efficiency.

The goal of releasing brand-new chips is to offer more affordable high-quality features for smartphones and tablets, according to Qualcomm.

“Qualcomm Technologies is pumping up its 600-tier mobile processors to include features typically found in higher-tier processors,” wrote Qualcomm in a blog post.

Connectivity Features

The newest chips come packing with the X12 LTE modem, a 600 Mbps modem also found on Verizon and Sprint iPhone variants, in addition to the Snapdragon 820. Bluetooth 5 will now also be a default feature, and the Snapdragon 660 has 2 x 2 MIMO Wi-Fi to boot. The jargon is jarring, that’s for sure — but Qualcomm says that basically, these upgrades should make it easier for phones to communicate through brick and concrete walls.

Both platforms will come with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4 technology, specialized machine learning chips, and crisper photo-processing and camera features. Naturally, Qualcomm also upgraded clock and GPU speeds: the Snapdragon 660 is 20 percent faster than its predecessor, while the Snapdragon 630 is 10 percent faster. They also support the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine SDK, which lets developers tinker around with machine learning and neural networks.

Speed Upgrades

Needless to say, Qualcomm’s new chips won’t hold out on power. Both chips will support up to a whopping 8 GB of RAM, and the processors were built and designed for the 14-nanometer manufacturing process. The Snapdragon 660 has an eight-core Kyro 260 CPU and an Adreno 512 GPU for graphics, while the 630 packs in eight Cortex A53 cores with an Adreno 508 GPU.

Improved Battery Life And Power Consumption

Nevertheless, battery life is possibly the most important improvement the new chips will bring. Qualcomm notes that users should experience 50 to as much as 75 percent lower battery consumption for a number of location services. What’s more, in terms of downloading over Wi-Fi, power consumption is down 60 percent on the 660 against Qualcomm’s previous-generation chips.

Qualcomm confirms that the Snapdragon 660 is now shipping, with the Snapdragon 630 slated to ship sometime in May. There’s no official word yet on which devices will feature Qualcomm’s new processors, but as always, expect due coverage as we learn more.

One thing is for sure though — midrange devices are about to get a lot more powerful, efficient, and capable.

Thoughts about the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 and 630? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

© 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Advertisement

Samsung fans who have been waiting to get their hands on a smartphone with a dual camera setup might be getting their wish earlier than the release of the Galaxy Note 8.

It was originally expected that the Galaxy S8 will come with the feature, but the smartphone was released without a dual camera. Users then expected that Samsung will instead incorporate the camera upgrade in its next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 8.

The First Samsung Dual Camera Phone May Not Be The Galaxy Note 8

Samsung initially planned to include a dual camera on the Galaxy S8, but a report from December 2016 claimed that the company gave up on the idea. The report turned out to be true, as the Galaxy S8 was unveiled with a 12 MP rear camera instead of the rumored 12 MP and 13 MP dual cameras.

The logical assumption was that if Samsung was not able to get the dual camera setup into the Galaxy S8, then the company would instead introduce the feature into the Galaxy Note 8, which is its next flagship smartphone.

However, according to a prolific leaker who goes by the handle mmddj_china on Twitter, the Galaxy Note 8 will not be the first Samsung smartphone with a dual camera. Instead, the feature will first be introduced in an upcoming Galaxy C device.

The leaker followed up the tweet with a hand-drawn sketch that places the dual cameras in a vertical arrangement at the center of the smartphone’s back. The sketch does not really evoke confidence in the rumor, but Samsung’s decision to roll out dual cameras outside of its flagship smartphone lines is certainly a plausible move.

One of the major selling points of Galaxy S device has been their groundbreaking cameras, which has so far reduced the need for a second lens module to improve the quality of pictures. However, features such as the Portrait Mode of Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus is not possible with just a single lens.

Introducing dual cameras into the Galaxy S8 may have been seen as a risk, especially with how Samsung relies on the smartphone to pull it out of the controversy generated by the Galaxy Note 7. Launching dual cameras outside the flagship Galaxy lines would allow Samsung to work out certain issues before introducing the feature into the Galaxy Note 8.

Next Samsung Galaxy C Smartphone Specs

Aside from the information that the next Galaxy C smartphone will feature dual cameras, there is not much else known about the device. The missing model number means that we have no idea on how big the display of the device will be, and there is no information on what kind of dual cameras will be fitted into the smartphone.

Rumors, however, claim that the next Galaxy C smartphone will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660. Qualcomm has not yet officially unveiled the chipset, but reports claim that it will be a mid-range version of the Snapdragon 835 with the same cores but less powerful GPU. The Galaxy C device is also said to be coming with a metallic body featuring antenna grooves similar to the Galaxy C9 Pro.

© 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

NordVPN gives you a private and fast path through the public Internet. All of your data is protected every step of the way using revolutionary 2048-bit SSL encryption even a supercomputer can’t crack. Access Hulu, Netflix, BBC, ITV, Sky, RaiTV and much more from anywhere in the world. Unmetered access for 6 simultaneous devices. You’re sure to find dozens of good uses for a VPN. Take advantage of the current 72% off deal that makes all of this available to you for just $ 3.29/month (access deal here). This is a special deal available for a limited time.

This story, “Get 72% off NordVPN Virtual Private Network Service For a Limited Time – Deal Alert” was originally published by TechConnect.

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Advertisement

Samsung Galaxy S8 is a pricey flagship phone for a reason: it packs several premium hardware under its hood. But what if we can expose these expensive parts for everyone to see?

A YouTuber named JerryRigEverything is popular for “rigging” gadgets and dismantling them to show the internal parts. For his latest video, instead of simply disassembling a device, he did something different: he created a clear back panel for the Samsung Galaxy S8.

The DIY video shows how to make a clear back panel for the Samsung Galaxy S8. Just a warning though: doing so will void the warranty, so caveat emptor!

Removing The Back Glass

The process is very simple but takes patience and careful execution. Samsung Galaxy S8 is a sturdy, well-built device so it cannot be dismantled that easily. So the user must use the necessary tools for this task. In the video, Jerry used a cutter, plastic wedge, and screwdriver. For the removal of the paint in the back panel, he used paint and epoxy remover and a piece of rag.

First, he removed the back glass panel of the phone. He heated the back side with a blow dryer to loosen the adhesive, then used a cutter to slice through the adhesive to remove the panel. (For an in-depth tutorial on Galaxy S8 teardown, watch his other video.)

The next step is to remove the camera frame and the fingerprint scanner stuck on the back panel. Using a cutter, he carefully removed the parts from the glass.

Clearing The Paint And Putting The Panel Back

The back glass is painted on the inside. As Jerry demonstrated, the paint cannot be removed by merely scratching it as it is stuck firmly on the glass. To do this, he used paint remover which can be bought from any local hardware store.

He sprayed the paint remover onto the painted side of the glass. The remover worked like acid that loosened and dissolved the paint. After a few minutes, he scraped off the paint carefully so he wouldn’t scratch the glass.

Afterwards, he removed the cloudy laminate on the glass (the paint sticks to the laminate). He peeled it off and then washed the glass to rinse the chemicals. The result: a solid, clear back glass. He cleaned it with a glass cleaner and left it to dry.

Next, he removed the back plate protecting the screws. To expose more of the parts, he completely removed the wireless charging port. Then he also cut half of the twin loudspeaker.

Finally, he put back the camera frame and fingerprint scanner using a double-sided adhesive tape. He reattached the fingerprint scanner pins using a plastic wedge. He also put tape along the side of the case before snapping the panel back in place.

Voila, a Samsung Galaxy S8 with a transparent back panel to boast its topnotch hardware!

© 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Advertisement

A new report from South Korea claims that Samsung is working on a smartphone display that will be curved not just at the sides, but also at the top and bottom.

Such a display will be a further improvement on the screen of the company’s recently released flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8. Will the next Samsung Galaxy smartphone feature the new screen?

Samsung Working On Screen That Curves On Four Sides

The report, published by South Korea’s ETNews, states that Samsung Display and LG Display are working together for the project to create a truly bezel-less display for smartphones.

By having the screen curved at all four sides and eliminating the top and bottom bezels, the screen-to-body ratio of a smartphone with such a display will be more than 98 percent. In comparison, the screen-to-body ratio of the Galaxy S8 is 83 percent.

However, the display will likely not be featured in a smartphone this year, as Samsung works to solve the main challenge in creating a screen that curves on all four sides.

The Challenge For Bezel-less Displays

Creating a truly bezel-less screen is not an easy feat. According to the report, the main challenge in the project lies in the lamination process that Samsung uses for its displays.

OLED panels go through a lamination process that introduces a protective layer to the screen, in addition to adding the touch film to the display. However, if the screen is curved on all four sides, the four corners of the display are rendered useless. This is because the current lamination process that Samsung uses will not allow the corners to register the touch of users.

According to one of ETNews’ sources, this challenge is also the reason why Apple decided to incorporate a flat OLED panel into its upcoming iPhone 8 instead of the previously rumored curved OLED screen.

Samsung and LG are now working to find a workaround for the problem. Samsung has given itself several months to improve its lamination process to work with a screen that curves on all sides, as the company is planning to unveil the display early next year.

However, in addition to the lamination process, Samsung may have to improve the durability of the screen, as more glass on the face of a smartphone means a higher surface area for a component that may shatter when dropped.

Such a time frame means that Samsung could be looking to incorporate a truly bezel-less display for the Galaxy S9.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Rolled Out

While Samsung is already working on technology that may be for the Galaxy S9, customers are still focused on getting the most out of the recently launched Galaxy S8.

Upgrading to the Galaxy S8, especially for Galaxy S6 users who will soon have their two-year contract expire, is a no-brainer, as the latest flagship Samsung smartphones packs more powerful specifications and improved features. One criticism against the Galaxy S8, however, is the location of the fingerprint sensor. Placed at the back of the device, users may find themselves smudging their camera lens more often than they would like when trying to reach for the sensor with their finger.

Samsung also made sure that the Galaxy S8 is safe from exploding batteries, as the company looks to move away from the stigma left by the controversial Galaxy Note 7.

© 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Advertisement

The Samsung Galaxy S8 aims to redefine the traditional smartphone design and format, and all elements it carries help achieve that goal: it’s Infinity Display, a gorgeous screen that’s nearly bezel-less; a lustrous glass back panel that delivers a visual oomph with its ever-changing ombre; and well, the lack of any carrier logos.

No More Carrier Logos On The Back Of Samsung Galaxy S8

Yes, regardless of which carrier you”ll get the Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus from, they won’t come with the respective logos on the front — there’s just no space — or even on the back.

U.S. Android smartphone owners, especially those under mobile contracts, usually have phones with carrier logos printed on the body. T-Mobile and Sprint have largely gravitated away from this of late, but Verizon and AT&T have so far been relentless with their own stamps.

But with the Galaxy S8, there’s nada. No Verizon or AT&T logo to be seen. Just the gorgeous back, and along it the Samsung logo, the Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus imprint, and some subtle certification stamps down the nether area.

Apple, for the record, has always been staunchly against imprinting third-party brands on its iPhone devices. Perhaps Samsung took note and decided to follow suit, thinking that carrier logos shouldn’t tamper with the gorgeous design of its newest flagships.

Carrier Splash Screens Are Still A Thing, Though

It’s different on the software side, however. Samsung hasn’t escaped carrier branding when booting up the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. Power them on and you’ll meet the respective splash screens of carriers, alongside carrier-related bloatware preinstalled. But at least these splash screens are only nuisances for a short time.

So there you go. No matter which carrier you buy the Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus from, you’ll still get an untampered design, just like everybody else who’ll purchase it will.

Samsung Galaxy S8 And S8 Plus

The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are Samsung’s latest flagship pair, announced late March and hitting shelves April 21. It’s Samsung’s latest comeback effort after the Note 7, which will go down in history as the most fiery phone Samsung had to offer — in the most literal sense of the word.

The Galaxy S8 comes with a 5.8-inch Super AMOLED curved Infinity Display with a resolution of 2,960 x 1,440 at 570 ppi. Under the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of internal storage, and a 3,000 mAh battery.

On the back of the device is a 12-megapixel dual pixel camera with optical image stabilization. It can record 4K video at 30 fps, 1080p video at 60 fps, and slow motion 720p video at 240 fps. On the front is an 8-megapixel camera for selfies.

For a full specs list of the two handsets, check out our previous article covering the unveiling.

What do you think about the lack of carrier logos on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

© 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

It’s not enough these days to just use antivirus software – that’s why this GlassWire Pro: Lifetime License firewall is a perfect bolster to your PC security tactics, now 70% off the original price. 

GlassWire is a holistic solution that incorporates network monitoring, host changes and a firewall – and it displays everything in an easy-to-read display, so you have total control over your IT environment the entire time. Even when you’re away from your computer, GlassWire runs in the background, so you can always check up on a report of what happened while you were away. 

You can stay ahead of any threats to your network, and even keep your bandwidth usage under control. GlassWire works on up to three PCs simultaneously, so you can rest easy knowing your information is secure. 

Be informed as you need to be: get this GlassWire Pro: Lifetime License for $ 29, and save 70% off the original price of $ 99. Alternatively, upgrade to GlassWire Elite to cover 10 PCs for 75% off, just $ 49.

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)