HTC 10 unveiled: 5.2-inch QHD display, 12 UltraPixel camera with laser autofocus

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On its website today, HTC unveiled the HTC 10. This is the phone HTC hopes will take on Samsung’s Galaxy S7, LG’s G5, and Apple’s iPhone 7.

HTC’s latest attempt to save its smartphone business is a flagship with the tagline “Power of 10” which, apparently, symbolizes “greatness and independence but also that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” In other words, the company claims — just as every other smartphone manufacturer tries to — that the latest flagship offers more than just a new metal design, better camera, and improved performance.

And yet, those are indeed the highlights that HTC insists will save it.

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HTC’s press release, leaked to us ahead of the official announcement, uses nonsense marketing-speak like “inspired by light and sculpted to perfection” when describing the new design. But in short, you can expect a full glass front that merges with the metal body.

The company also notes that the HTC 10 was subjected to over 168 hours of extreme temperature tests, ranging from -20°C (-4°F) to 60°C (140°F), plus over 10,000 drop, bend, scratch, and corrosion tests. Is this finally a phone that absolutely doesn’t need a case? Probably not, but one can sure dream.

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Next up, the camera features “the world’s first optically stabilized, larger aperture f/1.8 lenses” on both the front and rear cameras, larger sensors, 12 million UltraPixels (1.55um per pixel), laser autofocus on the back, plus a wide-angle lens and screen flash on the front. The HTC 10’s camera is also designed to launch “in as little as 0.6 seconds.” RAW format support is also a go.

HTC also claims that the 10 features “the world’s first stereo 24-bit Hi-Res audio recording, capturing 256 times more detail than standard recordings, across twice the frequency range.” The phone includes a headphone amp that delivers “two times the power of a conventional headphone amp,” the ability to upscale from 16-bit to 24-bit audio, and digital to analog conversion. You can even create your personal audio tuned to your individual hearing. The BoomSound Hi-Fi speakers feature a separated tweeter and woofer design, and a dedicated amplifier for each.

And finally, performance. HTC says the 10’s quad HD display is 30 percent more colorful and 50 percent more responsive to touch than its predecessor. The company says its fingerprint scanner unlocks in 0.2 seconds and is algorithmically designed to recognize you faster over time. It also claims that its battery can be charged to 50 percent in just 30 minutes.

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Last, but not least, HTC has created a new Freestyle Layout, which essentially means you don’t have to organize your apps in a grid anymore. You can place icons, stickers, and widgets anywhere you like, organize by layers and groups, link stickers to apps, or even get rid of icons altogether.

Here are the HTC 10’s specs:

  • Display: 5.2-inch, Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels), super LCD 5
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
  • Platform: Android 6.0 with HTC Sense
  • Memory: 4GB RAM, 32GB/64GB storage expandable up to 2TB via microSD
  • Rear Camera: 12MP (HTC UltraPixel 2), laser autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), f/1.8 aperture, Pro mode, Auto-HDR, Zoe Capture, hyperlapse, 12X Slow motion mode, 4K video recording with Hi-Res Audio
  • Front Camera: 5MP (1.34MICROm pixels), autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), f/1.8 aperture with ultra wide-angle lens, Live Makeup, Auto-HDR
  • Sound: HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi Edition, Dolby Audio, Personal Audio Profile, Hi-Res Audio Certified, Hi-Res Audio Earphones, Three microphones with noise cancellation, Hi-Res Audio Stereo Recording
  • Connection: USB Type-C
  • SIM card: Nano SIM
  • Connectivity: NFC, BT 4.2, Wi-Fi@: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz)
  • Sensors: Fingerprint Sensor, Sensor Hub
  • Battery: 3000 mAh

The HTC 10 starts shipping this month in four colors: Carbon Grey, Glacier Silver, Topaz Gold, and Camellia Red.

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Did you know that there’s a “Yellow” Facebook App for iPhone?

yellow-facebook-512News about a yellow facebook application are spreading out over the Social Networks, with bunch of new features.

So here’s what’s all about:

Mark Zuckerberg showed off an internal Facebook-only version of its iPhone app during a live video this week, as part of the introduction of Facebook’s live-broadcasting feature.

As previously noticed by The Verge, the app includes several features that you can’t get on the normal iPhone app.

First, as he opens it, he mentions that this is the “yellow version of the Facebook app, which is our internal build.” You can see it briefly on the screen here:

yellow version facebook skitch

Later, as he demonstrates one way to start broadcasting live video, he says “you can tap on the composer at the top,” as he selects the “Whats on your mind?” button:

composer skitch

And that rolls out a new kind of menu with a list of content types you can post.

Facebook confirmed to The Verge that this interface has rolled out to some people already, although it’s not on my version of the Facebook app.

Within that list, there are buttons for posting Music, Slideshows, and GIFs, suggesting some pretty cool new features could be coming to the mobile app soon.

Rumors have swirled that Facebook’s been building a music service since at least last summer, and it’s supported posting GIFs since May 2015, but there hasn’t been any specific button for them. “Slideshow” would presumably let you post a bunch of related pictures in slideshow format, like another test noticed last summer, although it may also refer to the new type of Slideshow advertising format that Facebook introduced last year for emerging markets.

facebook new menu skitchScreenshot

Zuck cautioned that not all of the features in the video would show up in the live app, and Facebook tests different interfaces all the time. But it’s still a tantalizing glimpse of how Facebook works and some of the things it’s considering to increase user engagement.

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This is why you’re getting a strange message on Whatsapp 

  
MESSAGING SERVICE WHATSAPP, which has over a billion users, has announced it has encrypted its service.
The service, which is owned by Facebook, is used to send billions of messages daily but some users had feared its lack of encryption made personal data vulnerable.

On the company’s blog today, founders Brian Acton and Jan Koum revealed that end-to-end encryption had been added to the service.

The idea is simple: when you send a message, the only person who can read it is the person or group chat that you send that message to. No one can see inside that message. Not cybercriminals. Not hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even us. End-to-end encryption helps make communication via WhatsApp private – sort of like a face-to-face conversation.

  
A row about encryption has been raging in the US between Apple and the FBI and services like Telegram and Signal, which sell themselves on their encryption, have surged in popularity.

The encryption will be added to any group where at least one member has the newest version of the app and will kick in across operating platforms and devices.

Koum says that while the company respects the job done by law enforcement, the right to privacy was too important to ignore.

The desire to protect people’s private communication is one of the core beliefs we have at WhatsApp, and for me, it’s personal. I grew up in the USSR during communist rule and the fact that people couldn’t speak freely is one of the reasons my family moved to the United States.

“Today more than a billion people are using WhatsApp to stay in touch with their friends and family all over the world. And now, every single one of those people can talk freely and securely.”

WhatsApp adds bold, italic, and strikethrough text – and here’s how to do it

whatsapp new fonts

WhatsApp now allows users to add bold, italic, and strikethrough text to instant messages – and it’s really simple to do.

The function has come in the latest version of the app, and works on both iOS and Android – helping you say what you really mean when simple words and emojis just won’t cut it.

To add bold text to a WhatsApp message, simply add an asterisk to either of the end of the text, i.e. *bold text appears here*

For italics, add an underscore to each end of the text, i.e. _italic text appears here_

For strikethrough text, add a tilde to each end of the text, i.e. ~strikethrough text appears here~

Each format can also be combined, for example to send text that’s both bold and italicised, just *_add asterisks and underscores together_*

Make sure you update to the latest version of the app to see the new text formats on Android and iOS.