Huawei to cut phone production by over half in 2021 says report

Agencies
February 20, 2021

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Chinese tech giant Huawei has reportedly told suppliers that smartphone production will drop by about 60 per cent in 2021.

According to Nikkei Asia, citing people familiar with the matter, Huawei has notified its suppliers that it plans to order enough components for 70-80 million smartphones this year.

The company is reported to have shipped 189 million handsets in 2020 which was already a sizable decrease from the 240 million phones sold in 2019.

The report did not mention if any specific Huawei smartphones will be affected by the cut.

In regards to its upcoming 2021 releases, the company is set to launch its foldable smartphone successor with the new Mate X2 on 22 February.

Meanwhile, Huawei is planning to step into the gaming segment with a set of gaming notebooks and a gaming console of its own.

Its first-ever console tentatively named the 'MateStation' could be launched alongside the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X in China sometime in the second quarter (Q2) of 2021. It would probably rely on some of its in-house silicon to do the heavy lifting.

Ahead of the release of the gaming console, the Chinese tech giant may be launching a new line of laptops that are designed for gaming.

Earlier this month President Biden's nominee for Commerce secretary, Gina Raimondo, said she has seen "no reason" to lift the trade restrictions off Huawei.

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Agencies
February 24,2021

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Washington, Feb 24: The Google Maps app is introducing dark mode for its Android users.

As per The Verge, the Google Maps app is getting a true dark mode on Android. The company announced on Tuesday that it is widely releasing the dark theme option that it has been testing in the app since September 2020.

The dark mode will be accessible in the app's settings menu, under 'theme'. Google announced the dark mode rollout as part of a batch of new features coming to Android, including some updates to Android Auto.
In addition to custom wallpapers, Android Auto is now going to feature games as well. Trivia Crack, Jeopardy!, Song Quiz, and Google's own Are You Feeling Lucky? will be available. The games can be accessed through the assistant by saying "Hey Google, play a game."

Android Auto is also getting a split-screen feature that will put Maps side by side with media controls, much like what Apple started doing in CarPlay in iOS 13 in 2019. Though this feature will only be available in cars with wider displays.

Google is adding shortcuts to the Android Auto launch screen, too, which will allow for quick access to weather or setting your home thermostat. The Android Auto features will be available in the coming days on phones running Android 6.0 and above in compatible cars.

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Agencies
February 23,2021

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Washington, Feb 23: Netflix has found a new way to get content in front of its users. The online streaming platform has launched a new feature that will automatically download TV shows or movies based on subscribers' preferences and viewing history.

As per Variety, the new feature called 'Downloads For You' was made available to Netflix's Android app globally starting February 22, after the company tested it out with select users in late 2020.

Netflix has also said it will test out Downloads For You in the iOS version of its app soon.
Netflix three years ago first introduced Smart Downloads, an offline-viewing feature that pulls in the next episode of users' favourite shows. Now it is trying to get users hooked by proactively pushing content to their smartphone or tablet so it is available to watch even if they are disconnected.

Netflix also said that most, not all, content in its catalogue is available to be downloaded and watched offline, with some exceptions based on licensing rights.

"We're excited to introduce Downloads For You. People who choose this new feature will have shows or movies automatically downloaded to their devices, with recommendations based on their tastes," Patrick Flemming, Netflix's director of product innovation, said in a statement.

Flemming added, "We want to make discovering your next new favorite series or film even easier, whether you're connected or not."

Another recently introduced feature is 'shuffle play', rolling out worldwide in the first half of 2021 on connected TVs, which lets subscribers press a button and randomly start streaming a recommended title or one from their watch list.

With the 'Downloads For You' feature, Netflix emphasised that users have control of how much video is downloaded to their device.

To enable the feature, users must go to the Downloads tab on the app and switch on Downloads For You. Then they can choose the maximum amount of content they want downloaded -- 1 gigabyte, 3 GB, or 5GB -- and click Turn On. The more space you allow, the more recommendations Netflix will download for you.

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Agencies
February 22,2021

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Washington, Feb 22: Online video-sharing platform YouTube has rolled out a new update that will give users the option to stream 4K/60p videos on any device, even if its display is not an Ultra HD one.

According to Mashable, this new change was first discussed late last week on the YouTube subreddit where users noted that they now had the option of selecting 4K video playback even though their devices lacked a 4K display.

Though users will not get the same visual quality that they would get with a higher-resolution screen, those who have lesser display resolutions will still benefit from turning on the 4K video option.

A Full HD+ phone, boosting the video resolution to its max output, should still provide a better visual experience compared to watching a 1080p video, though, the best experience would obviously come with having a 4K device.

This new feature seems to be available specifically on the Android app, though it is unknown if all low-resolution devices have access to the 4K video playback or if it is still limited to Full HD / Full HD+ screens.

According to Mashable, currently, it is unclear whether the ability to play 4K videos on devices that lack an Ultra HD display is an intentional change or one that may disappear in the near future. As of now, Google hasn't commented on this change, though many users seem happy and it wouldn't likely go over well if the feature was suddenly taken away again.

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