Google opens Google Maps to developers seeking to produce location-based AR games

Pokemon GO was extremely popular right off the bat thanks to the popularity of the Nintendo Pokemon game. But the AR feature also makes it fun to play as users search for Pokemon hiding right by their home, or in the neighborhood playground. Wherever the Pokemon trainer is, all he needs to do is whip out his phone to search out Pokemon and try to catch them. Thanks to previous user-sourced mapping that game developer Niantic had from its Ingress game, Pokemon GO became the most popular location-based game.

While we don’t see Pokemon GO players roaming the street anymore like we did …

Microsoft patent application explains why the company wants to produce a folding phone

Over the last week or so, we’ve passed along some of the latest information regarding a folding device that could be released as soon as next year by Microsoft’s Surface division. With telephonic capabilities, and the phone-like size that the product transforms into, there is no telling exactly what Microsoft will call it. However, we might get some sense of what the thinking is in Redmond by reading part of a recent patent application that was filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

The patent application includes plenty of drawings showing a free-stop 360 degree …

Qualcomm wants TSMC to produce Snapdragon 855 mobile platform, not Samsung?

For the last few years, Samsung has been the company churning out high-end chipsets designed by Qualcomm. This would include the Snapdragon 820, Snapdragon 821 and the Snapdragon 835 chipsets. And while there has been some talk about another chip manufacturer taking over for Samsung to produce the Snapdragon 845, it appears as though Sammy won’t be replaced until the Snapdragon 855 is rolling off of an assembly line.

It’s not as though TSMC  hadn’t produced Qualcomm designed chipsets before. The Snapdragon 808 and Snapdragon 810 chipsets were both made by TSMC off of Qualcomm designs. …

Apple fails to produce documents in FTC lawsuit vs. Qualcomm, gets fined $25K per day

U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins has ordered Apple to pay the court $25,000 each day that it fails to turn over certain documents related to the FTC’s suit against Qualcomm. The court started adding up the fines on December 16th. The $25,000 is the amount of profit Apple made every 16 seconds during its last fiscal year. The company must turn over the documents by December 29th, or else it will be forced to pay a higher penalty amount for each day it doesn’t turn over the documents.

Apple is not a party to the suit in which the FTC accuses the chip designer of allowing Apple to pay …

Samsung is ready to mass produce 8nm FinFET chips

Samsung said today that it is ready to start mass producing chips using the 8nm FinFET  Low Power Plus process. The 8nm LPP node fills a gap between the 10nm process used last year and most of this year, and the 7nm process expected to be employed in 2018. Samsung says that it is ready to increase the production yield to stable levels thanks to the lessons it learned with the production of 10nm chips.

Compared to 10nm Low Power Plus chips, the 8nm LPP takes up 10% less area inside a device, and at the same time it consumes 10% less power which saves battery life. Samsung does count …

Google to produce smart speaker with screen to take on the Amazon Echo Show

After the surprising success of the Amazon Echo created strong demand for the new product category known as the smart speaker, Google launched its Echo challenger last November. With Google Assistant in the role of the virtual personal sidekick, which is held by Alexa on the Echo devices, the Google Home came to market on November 4th, 2016. The latest data show that Amazon controls more than 70% of the smart speaker market with Google accounting for roughly 25%.

Just the other day, Google pulled YouTube from the Amazon Echo Show. This is the version of the Echo that features a 7-inch screen. …

Samsung will reportedly produce 2,000-3,000 foldable phone prototypes this year

There have been plenty of rumors floating around the Internet in the past few years, regarding Samsung’s foldable device, named the Galaxy X. According to the latest one, the foldable handset will not be commercialized by 2019. However, a new rumor has surfaced, which seems to suggest otherwise.

According to the Korean media The Investor, Samsung is going to produce a bunch of prototypes before the second half of this year. Citing anonymous sources, The Investor claims that the South Korean OEM has ordered enough components to make between 2,000 and 3,000 prototypes of its foldable phone.

The …

New material could be used to produce self-healing phone screens that will repair cracks

These days, the tools used to protect smartphone screens from cracking upon impact include Corning’s Gorilla Glass (now up to its 5th generation) and the second generation Shattershield system used by Motorola on the Moto Z Force. In the near future, phone screens could be made from a new material created by chemists at the University of California at Riverside and the University of Colorado.

While this material is transparent, conductive and stretchable, the most important thing is that it has self-healing properties. If the screen cracks, it will repair itself. In one example, …

TCL to produce a BlackBerry tablet?

The BlackBerry PlayBook was the one and only tablet ever produced by the company. The OS, built by QNX, paved the way for BlackBerry 10. There were some positives, especially the multitasking experience which called to mind the card-swiping UI found on webOS. At the time, BlackBerry was still overshadowed by the godawful launch of the BlackBerry Storm 9530, even though that debacle took place roughly 30-months before the PlayBook was launched.

So when BlackBerry released the PlayBook without a calendar app and a native email client (only the one application that BlackBerry was well known …

HTC Mobiles Produce Ripples Within The Mobile Market

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