An unusually large number of events were happening this week. This was especially noticeable against the background of what was happening in recent weeks. We were shown a major update to WhatsApp with features everyone has been waiting for. We learned that Google made a big purchase that will help it develop a product that it hasn't gotten along with yet. And this week, some of the legally questionable details of the relationship Apple and Google were revealed. In general, there is something to talk about.
Rarely does WhatsApp receive important updates. This week we got it.
Is cooperation Apple and Google legal
While economic and social upheaval is taking place around the world, some companies continue to collaborate as they did before. When you make a finished product such as Android, in which everything is in its place and Google services are there as much as possible to the place – this is normal. Although, this also often raises questions. It's another matter when you start to cheat and try to expand your sphere of influence even more, because this is exactly what Google does, which simply cannot stay at the same level, even being such a huge company. It just has to grow further according to the laws of the economy. Now there are more questions to her and to Apple due to the fact that they are too actively trying to contribute to such growth.
Despite the controversy and competition, Google pays Apple a lot of money and it's accepted.
A new scandal is unfolding not only in one country, but almost all over the world. The UK government has specific questions for companies Apple and Google. It is they who are currently considering the agreement Apple and Google in terms of antitrust law. The reason for the questions was that on iPhone the default search engine is Google, and not some other. And we are still outraged that we are forced to install Yandex as a basic search engine.
To do this, Google has to pay. Of course, Apple would not just stop choosing their almost competitor. The search giant himself is happy with everything and he agrees to pay, since such payments are not just a loss of money, but an investment that is returned in greater volume.
Google pays billions Apple to remain the default search engine in the Safari browser. Back in 2018, Google paid about $ 10 billion for this honor. Regulators say that in 2019 alone and in the UK alone, Google paid the Cupertinians $ 1.5 billion to remain a mainstream search engine.
The creator pays billions of dollars to get users to see this page in Safari.
At first, such numbers simply do not fit into the head, but when you understand how much Google makes from advertising, a lot becomes clear. You write a request, on the first line you get an advertisement and Google gets a pretty penny for it. How many queries do you make per day? How many people are there even in one country and how many queries do they make together? Hence the billions.
UK regulators scrutinized the search agreement between Apple and Google and found it poses a “significant barrier to entry and development” for competitors, Reuters reported. The UK Competition and Markets Authority has even expressed its position on this issue.
Given the impact of permutations and defaults on mobile devices and the significant market share Apple, we believe that existing agreements Apple with Google create a significant barrier to entry and development for other companies that influence competition between search engines on mobile devices, – noted the regulators.
It turns out that such an agreement cannot yet be called completely illegal, but it is at least on the verge of the law and its violation. Sometimes, however, companies overstep this line. The UK Competition and Markets Authority has proposed several options for changing the agreement Apple and Google to ensure fair competition. One of the options involves the complete termination of such an agreement, but we understand that companies will find another way to agree.
At this stage, all parties to the proceedings, including Apple and Google, are required to provide an action plan to avoid this conflict situation. As a way out of the situation, the output of the “selection screen” is already being considered, on which the user can decide for himself which search engine to use. However, we all know which search engine will be chosen by most of those who see this screen. Google has gone too far and the owners of smartphones by default, in order not to delve into new search engines, will still “google”. Moreover, on iPhone and now you can choose a basic search engine (even Yandex is), but very few people do it.
Yandex can also be a search engine on iPhone. You just need to go to the settings and select it from five other search engines, including Google.
So far, neither Apple nor Google have given clear comments on this situation, but it is not very pleasant. It turns out that companies are violating the law, but so far not very maliciously and regulators cannot write them billions in fines.
If you look closely at the comments of the authorities, you get the impression that there are a little more questions to Apple, because it does not allow you to choose another search engine. But Google, which pays for this, has its own questions.
These are not the only complaints against companies. Not only has Google found itself at the center of a major scandal in Europe not so long ago, but there are also questions to Apple from the point of view of the AppStore, which, according to lawmakers, including in the United States, everything is not so clean.
As you can see, being a large company, it is very difficult to make money and please everyone. As soon as you find yourself at such a level that you can become a monopolist, they immediately come to you with checks. I will not further develop this topic, draw analogies yourself.
Samsung showed how the Galaxy Note 20 will look
Despite the fact that today there are a lot of brands that can be considered cult, there are almost no smartphones with the same status on the market. Nokia was blown away long ago, HTC, which released the first smartphone on Android, turned out to be a blank cartridge, and LG, Sony and everyone else never really fired. Samsung stands out all the more brightly against their background, which, along with Apple, was able to conquer the minds of users with its smartphones, which were quite capable of being called cult. That only is the Galaxy Note line, which this year is waiting for such a serious upgrade.
Galaxy Note 20 will be a really cool smartphone
This week Samsung accidentally lit up the upcoming Galaxy Note 20. The leak would not have been so significant if the image of the smartphone had not appeared on the official website of the company, from where everyone who is not lazy managed to save it. How it happened is really hard to say, given that there is still about a month left before the official presentation. But since Samsung has already shown a new product, thereby confirming the upcoming release, it is simply impossible not to discuss everything that awaits us in the near future.
The new design of the camera indicates its upgrade
Bronze paint adds elegance to your smartphone
I propose to start with the design – after all, so far this is the only thing that has been shown to us – and I like it. Samsung has retained the square casing of the previous generation models, but has made some significant, in my opinion, changes in its design.
- First, the body seems to have become thinner. Not to say that the Galaxy Note 10 was thick, but judging by the images presented, it seems that the thickness of the Galaxy Note 20 will be even less than 8 mm. I really like thin cases – they give off something noble. It is immediately clear that the manufacturer did not just cram everything that needed to be crammed into a beautiful shell, but got confused and placed the insides so that the result was a thin and stylish tile.
- Secondly, Samsung has worked on the main camera unit. Now it's not just a narrow 'traffic light' of lenses. Now the modules are packed in a rectangular block, which favorably emphasizes the orientation of the smartphone to high-quality photo and video shooting, which is typical for modern flagships. Thanks to this uncomplicated innovation, the camera has become a real design dominant, and not a side structural element.
- Thirdly, Samsung – at least I hope so – has abandoned the parrot colors and opted for the austere style characteristic of the Galaxy Note of earlier generations. The novelty was painted in a stylish bronze color, which gives the smartphone elegance and at the same time makes it not as defiant as the Galaxy Note 10, which suffered from pearlescent overflow.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will be built entirely around a 108-megapixel camera
Officially, the characteristics of the Galaxy Note 20 have not been disclosed, but it is obvious that this year Samsung, as in the past, will release at least two, or even three models, each of which, although it will be priced differently, will receive comparable hardware, and will differ in the size of the display, cameras and, probably, the amount of RAM. The base model, of course, will be the classic Galaxy Note 20 with a 6.7-inch display and 12GB of RAM. The middle one – Galaxy Note 20 Plus – with a 6.9-inch display and the same 12 GB of RAM, and the older one – Galaxy Note 20 Ultra – with a top-end 108-megapixel camera, 120 Hz display and 16 GB of RAM.
The question of price remains open. Traditionally, Galaxy Note smartphones are more expensive than Galaxy S, and there is no reason to believe that something will change fundamentally this year. In this regard, I would dare to suggest that the base Galaxy Note 20 will be priced at 89,990 rubles, the average one at 99,990 rubles, and the top-end one at 109,990 rubles. Exactly how much, by the way, the representatives of the Galaxy S20 line cost during the period of short-term price increases, but then returned to the original indicators – obviously, in order to prepare for the launch of the 'laptops'.
Interesting WhatsApp update
Despite the fact that the Telegram audience is growing by leaps and bounds today, WhatsApp remains the most popular messenger. It is used by more than two billion people around the world, leaving it out of reach of all other messaging services. But this popularity did not arise out of nowhere. Obviously, the WhatsApp developers have gone to great lengths to turn a decent messaging service into a mega-friendly social tool.
WhatsApp gets features that users have been asking for for a long time
WhatsApp for Android received a major update this week. A similar update was released for iOS and Mac. You should not expect a redesign or a radical change in management principles from him – with this, the messenger had everything quite ok before. However, when creating a new version, the developers took into account the wishes of users and brought them to life, increasing the overall usability of the application and filling the existing gaps that impede comfortable use.
The first thing to look out for is, of course, the animated stickers. WhatsApp followed Telegram and revived the stickers that users exchange with each other. While the set of available animations is very limited, it is obvious that their number will only grow over time. Has the messenger become more convenient? Hardly. But the users were clearly more interested.
But the function of scanning QR codes will clearly add convenience to users. Thanks to it, it will be possible to add new users to conversations by scanning their business card, encrypted in a QR code. All you need to do is to point the camera of your smartphone at the smartphone of your interlocutor with an open business card when you meet and confirm the addition. This is much more convenient than rewriting the number manually.
WhatsApp video calls have become more convenient
The video calling mode has also undergone some changes aimed at improving the usability. Now, thanks to a special mechanism in group calls, the speaker's window will stand out against the general background. This will allow you to understand exactly who is speaking at the moment, and not to confuse who to answer. Recently, with the release of iOS 13.5 in May, a similar feature appeared in FaceTime.
In addition, the participants in group chats have the opportunity to immediately call a video conference. To do this, the interface of such a chat provides a special dial-up button for all participants in the conversation. Any of those present can click on it and call everyone else to a conversation. It would seem that such a logical and simple button should have always existed, but the developers have guessed to add it only now.
Night theme is finally available on WhatsApp desktop
Well, the final innovation is support for the night theme for the desktop version of the messenger. It is available on macOS, Windows, and Linux. Now users of these desktop platforms will be able to activate it forcibly in the messenger settings, regardless of whether they have the system night theme enabled or not.
Download WhatsApp update for Android
The update is already available for download to all users, without exception. You can download it from Google Play using this link, or wait for the update to download itself, if you have the auto-update function enabled. In this case, the new version of the messenger may be delayed a little, because in order to save energy Android it checks for fresh updates only 1-2 times a day, accumulates them and only then installs everything in bulk.
Google bought augmented reality glasses manufacturer
I would argue that all gadget lovers are already gradually beginning to get bored with the waiting we have been living in for the last couple of years. It all started with the fact that Google showed “smart glasses” in which Sergey Brin walked with or without reason, as if showing us that this is the future. That's just on those glasses while everything is hanging. Nobody else offered something really sensible and really working, although there were enthusiasts. Now there is news that Google has bought a company that develops and promotes the idea of smart glasses. Could this tell us about the search giant's desire to continue working in this direction? And the devil only knows … Let's figure it out.
Google is still going on. She wants to make good glasses.
Among IT companies, buying startups and shelf companies from competitors is common. After all, you don't just end up with an assembly line, a couple of offices and a brand. You also get all the patents, which individually can be expensive, and at the same time remove a competitor at the stage of formation. You can receive royalties for acquired patents or, conversely, use them yourself. Often buying them one at a time will be more expensive than buying the entire company as a whole.
We were accustomed to this behavior Apple, which actively finds companies that come up with something important and new. As a result, the founder receives an amount to the account, which often amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars, and possibly also a post in the company, in which he will continue to oversee development, receiving a decent salary.
This time, Google distinguished itself, which also decided to buy a startup. The young company is called North, and it gained its fame due to the fact that it produced wearable glasses, very similar in appearance to Google Glass. There was only one model in the startup's lineup. It was named Focals 1.0. The second generation was also being developed, but work on it was curtailed.
This is what North Focals 1.0 looked like.
As a result of the deal, both Google and North published relevant entries on their blogs. At the same time, each of them expressed that he was happy with the deal. It seems that the joy is sincere. If North could have done something herself, she would have done it, but it seems that they didn’t succeed, and the money might just run out. For Google, this will be a “fresh look” approach that can be used very well in creating and promoting the next generation of Google Glass. This will come in very handy in competition with Apple, which is rumored to want to do something similar too.
However, there is still no understanding of how the structure of the company acquired by Google will be changed. Perhaps it will simply become a subsidiary company, or maybe it will merge into the main one, becoming a division. There is also a possibility that it will cease to exist altogether, and employees will be laid off. However, this is not the most likely scenario, but if Google only wants patents, not engineers, then it may turn out to be so.
Overall, Google glasses look cool, but technically it's just a toy for now.
Talking about this on her blog, North closed her post by announcing that she would 'wind down' the Focals 1.0 project, the smart glasses that the company made. Those who have already ordered the second generation of glasses will receive full money back, as this model will simply not be produced.
This behavior after the transaction makes it clear that Google is interested in the company precisely in terms of producing its own wearable gadget. In order not to breed competitors and not to beat off the market for herself, she simply closed all production, and put the most interesting developments at the heart of her product. But when will it be?
Google does not have time to relax, and since they started talking about the fact that it is interested in such a technology and such a product Apple, it means that it is really interested in it and will do everything possible to occupy this niche.
Will everyone soon walk around the city like this?
Additional evidence of her desire to develop in this direction is the numerous statements by Cupertinians that AR is the technology of the future. Tim Cook personally said that he didn’t believe in VR, but believed in AR, and Apple proved it by deed, “rolling out” new augmented reality features in iPhone and iPad. Because of this, Google needs to work as quickly as possible.
In the end, such a deal is good for everyone. North did not show explosive growth and it is not clear if it could exist and develop further. Google has received a tool to develop its AR device. And we won because we got excellent competition in this field, which should lead to the acceleration of the development of augmented reality technologies.
When such glasses appear, just imagine how many advantages it will bring us. We will take a completely different look at shops, at sights, at people, at nature and at other familiar things, and those that the wonderful world of augmented reality will just open to us – so long-awaited and almost come.