An interesting thing happened this week. Huawei introduced its own payment card. It is now a little closer to Apple and has a bargaining chip to attract new customers. Let's see how events will develop. Also this week, in landmark news, Apple is joining forces with Google to build an important app. This application will allow you to warn people who may have been infected with the coronavirus. This app has the potential to save thousands of lives. There was other news this week. For example, the photos show the new Google Pixel 4a. Perhaps it will go on sale soon. What else do you remember about the past week?
Google can do a lot
Apple and Google create an app under iOS and Android
The spread of coronavirus infection has dramatically changed the way people live around the world. Now we are much more loyal to medical masks, we are learning to see the benefits in the restrictions imposed by the authorities, and manufacturers create effective ways to spy on people, justifying this by taking care of ourselves. But if a month ago the majority would never have agreed to be followed, today many of them have changed their minds, starting to think that perhaps the Chinese scenario is not so bad since it is about survival. But no one expected that Apple and Google would be engaged in the creation of tracking systems.
Apple teamed up with Google to fight coronavirus
Yes it's true. Apple and Google are working to create a universal contact tracing system for coronavirus patients for iOS and Android. It is based on Bluetooth Low Energy technology, which will record the devices of all users that intersect with each other. This will make it possible to most effectively track the extent of the spread of the disease, identifying accidental contacts of the infected and warning in advance those who are highly likely to become infected, even if the meeting took place long before the confirmation of the disease in one of the unwitting opponents.
iPhone and Android – smartphones will record each other in case their owners are sick with coronavirus
The system will work according to the following principle: it will record all the devices of people crossing each other, recording their identifiers, which will then be transmitted to a special application. It is assumed that if one of the users becomes ill with coronavirus, he will inform the application about this, otherwise he will analyze the list of people with whom the infected person crossed, and notify them about the need to self-isolate and take tests to confirm or deny the diagnosis.
Despite the fact that the system will track devices, whose owners were close to each other, they will only save their identifiers, which will be carefully encrypted. Therefore, it will be impossible to find out exactly who was next to you, which means that the possibility of unauthorized spying of some users after others is excluded. However, this will be enough for the system: in this way it will be able to notify those who could potentially become infected, and at the same time keep the identity of the one who could infect them a secret.
If suddenly someone you crossed paths with is sick with coronavirus, you will receive a warning
Developers Apple and Google chose Bluetooth Low Energy for contact tracing for several reasons. Firstly, it is a very energy efficient technology that can broadcast a signal for months even if the device's battery is completely discharged. Therefore, it is used to find the missing iPhone by the Locator application. This means, most likely, user permissions for the tracking system will not be required, and it will be activated automatically. Secondly, Bluetooth Low Energy, unlike GPS or triangulation, is able to fix the location, increasing the likelihood of identifying everyone with whom users have contacted.
At an early stage – its launch is planned for May 2020 – the tracking system will be available as part of a special application that will be released in the App Store and Google Play. Therefore, it is assumed that at first the audience of users of this program will be small, since you will have to install it yourself. However, over time Apple and Google plan to integrate the app with iOS and Android, automating the tracking system. As a result, the only active action that will be required from users is to notify the application if they find out about their infection earlier than the application itself.
Undoubtedly, the joint initiative Apple and Google has great potential. After all, today Android and iOS are the only operating systems on the market that power the vast majority of mobile devices, thus providing truly broad reach. Now the main thing is that companies do not delay integrating their application into the OS and conduct a competent marketing campaign, convincing as many users as possible not to hide their illness, but to notify the application about it, possibly saving dozens and even hundreds of lives.
Google adds a keyboard for the blind to Android
iOS has always been ahead of the curve Android when it comes to accessibility. Due to the deep thoughtfulness of the mobile operating system from Apple, people with disabilities could conveniently use it. That only is the voice control of the interface, sound of what is happening on the screen or support for hearing aids. But recently, Google realized that it was far behind a competitor, and therefore decided to take on the development of an inclusive component Android and added the ability to type text using Braille for touch screens.
Braille typing is possible even on a smartphone
Braille is a tactile font developed by Louis Braille that is based on bump-sensing and is intended to be read by the blind or visually impaired. Classic Braille is presented in a six-point system, where a combination of dots denotes a specific letter or symbol. As a result, you can type 63 informative characters and 1 space in Braille. There is also an eight-point system that allows you to type 255 informative characters and a space, but it is considered a non-classical option.
This is how Braille dialing works on Android
Braille typing at Android is part of TalkBack. It allows you to call instead of the standard keyboard a special six-key block, where each of them replaces one of the six braille dots. Despite the fact that the relief cannot be reproduced on the touch screen, the principle of typing using the method proposed by Google is basically no different from the traditional method used by blind or visually impaired people. So, to type the letter 'a', you need to press the number '1', and to type the letter 'b' – the numbers '1' and '2' together.
- To enable Braille on Android, go to 'Settings';
- Open the section 'Accessibility' – TalkBack;
Braille dialing is a feature of TalkBack for the visually impaired
- Turn on Talkback mode by sliding the activation toggle switch to the 'on' position;
- Go to any printing application, bring up the keyboard and swipe across it with three fingers, and then start typing.
There are no other buttons, except for these six, that are responsible for the character set, but this does not mean that it is impossible to perform other manipulations with the text.
- To delete a letter, swipe to the left with one finger;
- To delete a word, you need to swipe left with two fingers;
- To wrap a line, swipe right with two fingers;
- To confirm the end of the dialing, you need to swipe up with two fingers.
Braille Android is not tactile, but better than nothing
For now, touch braille is only available to English-speaking users. Of course, anyone can turn it on, regardless of country of residence and device used. It's just that at the moment Android only supports one language – English. However, given that usually Google is trying to spread the innovations of its OS to a multilingual audience, most likely in the foreseeable future we will see how Braille in Android will work with the Russian language. In addition, while the update is being distributed gradually, and therefore right now it is not available to everyone.
Google's desire to expand inclusiveness Android certainly deserves the warmest praise. Still, until now, disabled users have not had many options to interact with. Despite the fact that the TalkBack mode allowed the visually impaired to work with the system, navigating the interface corners, actually working with it, surfing the web and communicating with other users, they had practically no chance.
Google Pixel started arriving in stores
Tired of waiting for the new Google Pixel? It's okay, it won't be long. In line with the tradition launched last year, the new Google Pixel “a” series should appear soon, but we do not know the exact launch date. But confirmation has already appeared that it will not be long to wait. These smartphones have started arriving in stores and we even have photos of them. This often happens before the immediate start of sales. Based on such mini-leaks, we can usually guess when it will finally be possible to buy a new product and start using it. It happened this time as well. Thanks to those who provide us with such photos.
This device may be the best smartphone in the first half of the year.
If you follow the technology and world of smartphones, then the characteristics of the new Google Pixel 4a are no secret to you. They often leaked online and we even wrote about it. And also called the approximate release date. So far, all predictions come true and a smartphone will soon be available for purchase.
The leaks predicted the Snapdragon 730 processor, which will be installed in the Google Pixel 4a, a hole in the screen for the front camera, a fingerprint scanner on the rear wall and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.
There was also such a leak regarding a new smartphone.
The set is good enough for the category the new sub-flag will belong to. The exact price is still difficult to name, but it could be $ 400, which will definitely be much lower than the main Google Pixel. And given that this year it will most likely be left without a top processor, their characteristics become even closer.
On Facebook it is reported that the new Google Pixel 4a has already started arriving in stores. Well, and what, posters on the streets of cities have already hung. It's time to bring smartphones themselves to stores.
Such posters 'hung' on the street a few weeks ago. They are actually renders for design visualization.
Photos appeared in the Google fan community. Apparently, they were posted by one of the Vietnamese members of this community. This may indirectly mean that the company switched its production to this eastern country. If they prepared for this in advance, then such a decision can be of great service to them. This can reduce the risks of a shift in delivery times in a pandemic.
So far, all this can raise little doubts, like any other leak. But if this is true, then it suggests that the Pixel 4a series will be on the shelves very soon. Even if this is not a photograph from a store, it does not mean that they are not there. Since smartphones are already packed in boxes and shipping bags, this means that commercial production has already begun. It's not just about checking and agreeing on the design of the box.
In general, leaks regarding Google smartphones are very interesting in themselves. Some are not the same as others. Just remember how prototypes of new models were scattered around the world even before the wide launch.
As for the a-series, we can recall that the Google Pixel 3a originally leaked to Ukraine back in August 2018. It's not clear how, but it happened seven months before the start of sales. Or is it Google's special approach to controlled leaks, or just some unknown nonsense.
I already wanted to open it.
The Google Pixel 4a was originally rumored to be unveiled at the Google I / O developer conference scheduled for May 2020. The only problem is that the conference was canceled due to the coronavirus and the smartphone went free floating. Now it is unclear exactly when it will “emerge”, but one thing is certain – this is a matter of the coming weeks. At least we know for sure what it will be. It's unavoidable.
It seems to me that Google Pixel 4a is needed by everyone! It can be considered the most successful smartphone at the beginning of the year. With a price tag of $ 400-500, it will have almost no competitors. OnePlus 8, which is due out any day, will be more expensive even in the cheapest version. Honor 30, judging by the leaks, is good, but the lack of Google services will be a significant disadvantage. Especially against the background of the pixel, which, on the contrary, will enjoy the unlimited support of the Redmondians. The situation is similar with Huawei P40, which also cannot fully work in the modern sense of the word.
There is also OPPO Reno 3, but even though this is a good smartphone, it costs a little more. Against this background, Pixel, Android which performs better than anywhere else, will prove to be more preferable.
I'm not even talking about iPhone 9, because nothing is really clear about him and it's difficult to compare them in absentia. Although, if the price is close, the “nine” will be almost the only smartphone that can impose competition on the Google Pixel 4a.
Last year we were shown the excellent Google Pixel 3a. I still recommend it for purchase and even included it in the list of inexpensive smartphones with a good camera. This year, I hope for no less success. But so far this is only a forecast. However, we will be able to check it very soon.
Huawei presented credit card Huawei Card
From the moment that Huawei was deprived of access to Google services, one thing was obvious to everyone: either the Chinese would find a replacement for them and emerge victorious from the situation, or they would lose and again become a local electronics manufacturer known only in the Middle Kingdom. Moreover, much more was believed in the second, given that it had never even occurred to anyone to do something like that. However, in less than a year Huawei, it launched several branded services, upgraded its app store quite well and was able to go even further in the development of its ecosystem than Google could.
Huawei decided that it was not enough for her to compete only with Google, so she swung at Apple
The company Huawei introduced its own payment card called Huawei Card. Obviously, in this way the Chinese decided to answer Apple with her Apple Card, which is very popular in the United States. Despite the fact that so far there are very few details about the map Huawei, we have collected everything that is known about it and are sharing this information with you.
Huawei Card – almost the same as Apple Card, but not as profitable
- Huawei Card will be released in both physical and virtual versions. The virtual version of the card can be issued through the Huawei Pay application;
- Physical Huawei Card, unlike Apple Card, will support contactless payments, so you can pay for purchases even if your smartphone runs out of power;
- It is not yet known which bank will issue the Huawei Card, but it is known that the payment system on the basis of which the card will operate will be Union Pay;
- Huawei Card, like Apple Card, will be credit. This means that not everyone will be able to issue it, but only adult smartphone users Huawei with a good credit history;
- Unlike Apple Card, Huawei Card will be paid. So far, the cost of the annual service has not been announced, but it is known that the first year will be free, and for the second one can not be paid by spending a certain amount
- Huawei Card uses the same security protocols as Huawei Pay, in addition to classic security mechanisms like 3D Secure, etc.
It is obvious that Huawei Card, despite the fact that it is, in fact, a copy of Apple Card, is not aimed at competing with the solution Apple. Still, Apple Card will not be able to entice users Apple. This means that the Chinese pursued another goal, which consisted of a banal expansion of their influence. Thus, they, firstly, will have access to information about their customers' payments. And, secondly, thanks to the Huawei Card, the Chinese will get an advantage over Google, which has no such product. Therefore, the likelihood that users will start choosing smartphones Huawei increases, especially if the company offers them favorable terms of service.
Huawei Card can be issued directly in the application Huawei Pay
So far, this is just speculation, because the positions Huawei in China are already quite strong, while in Russia and other countries Huawei Card will not work – at least at an early stage -. And for this to happen, Huawei will have to agree not only with some local bank, but also with the payment system. After all, the average Russian is unlikely to use Union Pay, simply because he has never heard of it, but MasterCard, Visa, or at worst MIR is very likely.
But even this is not enough for success Huawei Card. For the project to be successful, the Chinese have to jump over their heads and provide users with mega-favorable conditions for cashback or installments, which would be more attractive than those of Russian banks. Now, for our market, cashback of 1% is the norm and the ability to make purchases in installments without interest for up to a year. Therefore, in order for me to switch to Huawei Card, I need at least 2% cashback in money and profitable special offers like 5% cashback in supermarkets, pharmacies and cinema.