In the coming weeks, OnePlus is expected to show off the OnePlus 5, a smartphone meant to compete with the Samsung S8 and Google Pixel. However, a recent leak reveals that the OnePlus 5 may be more powerful than either of those phones.

Faster Apps

Thanks to OnePlus’ partnership with DxO, the OnePlus 5 is expected to have one of the best cameras available on a smartphone, but a recent leak from TechRadar reveals that the phone may be better for gaming as well.

The Pixel remains a great smartphone and still has plenty to offer, but its components are getting a bit older. The S8, on the other hand, features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor and is one of the most powerful smartphones on the market.

Despite featuring the same processor, recent leaks claim that the OnePlus 5 may actually be faster than the S8. The leak compares the speeds of the OnePlus 5, Pixel, and S8 in terms of opening apps. In nearly every instance, the OnePlus 5 is several seconds faster than its counterparts from Samsung or Google.

One thing that is unclear is whether or not the OnePlus 5 used in this test featured 4 GB or 6 GB of RAM. Obviously, more RAM would result in a faster phone, so it is tempting to assume this was the 6 GB model. Of course, the type of RAM used in the phone would also make a difference.

As of right now, we don’t know what type of RAM will be used in the OnePlus 5. We don’t even know if the aforementioned leak is legitimate, though TechRadar mentioned that it came from a trusted source.

Price And Release Date

Of course, all that extra speed won’t come cheap and rumors suggest that those costs will be passed onto consumers. Previous models of the OnePlus have been more affordable than Apple or Samsung’s offerings, but leaks suggest that might change this time around. A source who spoke to Android Authority said that OnePlus was “looking at a significantly higher price point due to components and design.”

In terms of specifics, the source mentioned that the price could be as high as $ 650. While that is more expensive than previous models of the OnePlus, it’s still cheaper than the Galaxy S8 and significantly cheaper than the iPhone 8, which is rumored to cost north of $ 1,000.

OnePlus doesn’t follow an annual release cycle, but current trends suggest the phone will be released in summer of 2017.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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