Tech

Akeem ReachnaijaJune 28, 2019
images-91594572917..jpg

2min450


Earlier this year, we covered one of the most interesting tech companies to come out of China, called Vivo .
While it may not have name recognition, Vivo has been taking the smartphone world by storm over the past year.

The technology hasn’t been announced for any commercial phones just yet, but Vivo says Super FlashCharge 120W can fully charge a 4,000 mAh battery in just 13 minutes, which is incredibly fast.

Keep in mind, most phones have battery capacities smaller than 4,000 mAh. Even the massive iPhone XS Max has a 3,174mAh battery.

As a reference point, Huawei earlier this year debuted its own fast-charging tech for the foldable Mate X smartphone, which can fully charge that phone’s 4,500 mAh battery within 30 to 40 minutes.
Even Apple’s own fast-charging tech can only charge the iPhone XS, with its relatively small 2,658 mAh battery, to 50% in 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, Vivo’s new tech takes about five minutes to charge a smartphone to 50%.

Vivo’s Super FlashCharge tech uses a custom USB-C cable, paired with a 120-watt power charger, to achieve these incredible speeds.
It’s unclear when we’ll see Vivo’s fast-charging solution in a commercially available product but be warned: fast charging is believed to expedite the deterioration of your phone’s battery.

The long-term effects of fast-charging are still unclear, but some studies say that fast-charging your batteries make them die a lot faster.


Akeem ReachnaijaJune 27, 2019
oppo-under-screen-camera-e1561543770918-369613801-768x359.jpeg

2min190

The fullscreen display-enabling technology was demonstrated to the public at Shanghai’s Mobile World Congress, following a teaser earlier this month.

According to Oppo, the selfie camera is embedded under a section of the display that’s made of a highly transparent custom material with a special pixel structure, which enables light to pass through to the lens. The selfie camera is also said to be larger than other front-facing cameras, featuring a wider aperture lens in front of the sensor.

The company has already admitted that putting a camera under the screen will make it harder to match the quality of an unobstructed smartphone camera.

To compensate, however, Oppo said it has developed software algorithms that address haze, glare, and color cast issues, resulting in pictures that are “on par with mainstream devices.”

We won’t know how accurate that claim is until the tech hits the market, and it’s still not clear exactly when the under-screen camera will debut in a consumer product, but the company says it plans to launch a device featuring its USC “in the near future.”

This isn’t the first time Oppo has tried to innovate in the mobile camera space. The company in February introduced a 10x optical zoom camera system for smartphones, and just last month unveiled its latest flagship OnePlus 7 Pro phone, which features a bezel-free display and pop-up selfie camera.

Apple’s 2019 iPhones are widely expected to include a triple rear camera system featuring wide, telephoto, and ultra-wide lenses. The display notch, which houses Apple’s TrueDepth camera and Face ID tech, will almost certainly remain.


Akeem ReachnaijaJune 20, 2019
9668180_1280pxbhartiairtellimitedlogo_svg_png09550d6ec8c80b5e26a58804a5f3710b-1280x425.png

2min550

Telecommunication giant, Airtel Nigeria has officially filed an application with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the listing of its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

It was revealed by sources at the commission that the telecom company’s application was filed two weeks ago. The Security and Exchange Commission, SEC, was presently examining the application in line with its rules and regulations, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.

SEC would continue in its quest to protect the interest of investors in the market in line with its mandate to regulate and develop the capital market, the source said. The application would be given fast consideration if the company met all the requirements for listing on the nation’s bourse .

The parent company of the telco, Bharti Airtel, in its filing in London on Monday, said that it intended to list the shares on the NSE at the same time with the listing of its Africa unit at the London Stock Exchange.

However, it said its plans were subject to regulatory approval of the SEC and the NSE.

Its African unit had been set at a share price of 80 to100 pence a share for its initial public offer on the LSE to raise about $750m.

According to the India-based network operator, the offer is expected to comprise approximately 595.2 million to 744.0 million new shares to be issued by the company


Akeem ReachnaijaJune 17, 2019
9641097_huaweisnewhongmengosreportedly60percentfasterthanandroid_jpegc7237f4d80af5afd3618cf648839b9b5.jpeg

2min380

Huawei has been intensively testing HongMeng OS with companies like Tencent, Oppo and Vivo. Based on the tests, it has been revealed that Huawei’s new OS is 60 per cent faster than Google’s Android.

Recall, after Trump administration announced a ban on Huawei products and services, it barred the company from doing business with US tech companies such as Alphabet Inc, whose Android OS is used in Huawei’s phones. However, days later Huawei announced that it is working on its own operating system which will replace Android in its smartphones.

This week, a Huawei executive also announced that the company’s own operating system called Hongmeng OS is ready to roll out to its users soon. Some reports suggest that could be as soon as October this year.

Per the recent extension from Google, Huawei will have access to Android only until August 2019.

A recent report by Global Times suggests that Huawei’s Hongmeng OS will apparently be 60 percent faster than Android. Reportedly, Oppo and Vivo have sent out their teams to test the new Huawei OS and found the operating system to indeed be 60 percent faster than Android. We cannot confirm these claims till we get a chance to test it out for ourselves. For all you know, it may just be a matter of building hype for a Chinese alternative to Android OS.

The report, further, also reveals that Tencent is also working with Huawei’s EMUI team to test Hongmeng OS.

Huawei, simultaneously, has applied to trademark its operating system in at least nine countries and Europe. According to data from the UN World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the trademark has been filed in countries such as Cambodia, Canada, South Korea and New Zealand.

Hongmeng OS will reportedly be used for gadgets ranging from smartphones, portable computers to robots and car televisions. Hongmeng OS is expected to ship on nearly 225 million devices by the end of this year.


Akeem ReachnaijaJune 12, 2019
9604701_images10_jpeg_jpegc5c0a48be9bad09b46e26308cf717d9b.jpeg

2min620

Huawei has managed to ship 1 million smartphones with its own OS, called HongMeng, sources reported. According to the firm Rosenblatt Securities, the devices were being prepared for testing, without clarifying if they are actual market-available phones or development products. The report revealed the in-house software is compatible with all Android applications and has “increased security functions to protect personal data”.

The China Daily website quoted Yu Chengdong (also known as Richard Yu), Huawei’s CEO of the consumer business group, who said the company’s own operating system “will be available as early as this fall or next spring at the latest”. It is prepared to be installed on mobile phones, computers, tablets, TVs, cars, wearables and everything else you can install an OS on, Yu said in a WeChat group with internet experts.

Although the United States delayed the ban on trades with Huawei with 90 days from May 20, the Shenzhen-based manufacturer has no plans to wait for a resolution and is already pushing its OS that has been in the pipeline for several years. Huawei Central, a website reporting mostly news from the technology giant, said that the “HongMeng” trademark is already being acquired at multiple markets, like Canada, Europe, South Korea and Mexico.


Akeem ReachnaijaJune 11, 2019
9597267_huaweioakos_jpeg6c2a66c772ed0109c05ef41f6150c325.jpeg

2min500

After a series of sanctions by the US government, Huawei is doing everything possible to keep its head above water. Just last month, the company suspended from using Google’s own Android OS. The suspension means Huawei was ban from using Google Services as well as Play Store. In response to this, the company announced that will be launching its own OS, which is called Oak OS.

The new Huawei Oak OS, according to reports, will likely to go official in August or September this year. It will be known as ‘HongMeng OS’ for China market and ‘Oak OS’ for the global market. It is currently being tested intensively after the recent ban from Google. There are believe that the upcoming Huawei Mate 30 could be the first device running the ‘HongMeng OS’/’Oak OS’ come October.

Google withdrew Huawei’s license to use Android access, security updates, Play Store and more. Although all existing products before the ban comes into full effect by the end of August, will still be able to use Google services. Despite the ban, Google has warned the US Government of the possible security risks involved with the new operating system.

While we await the new OS, many are expecting to see how the Huawei’s new ‘HongMeng OS’/’Oak OS’ will do against the almighty Google Android OS. If you can remember correctly, the Symbian OS, Blackberry OS and recently the Window OS all fell and lost the battle to Google’s Android.


Akeem ReachnaijaJune 6, 2019
9559914_20190416t205003z1606109756rc16d07d94b0rtrmadp3applequalcomm1024x729_jpegb6438fac747c1c35bfef05ee98178e8d.jpeg

2min530

About Two iOS developers have sued Apple and are seeking class-action status for their case, Apple has for years maintained a monopoly over the sale and distribution of iOS apps, and they’re sueing the tech giant in a US federal court in an attempt to break its “improper monopolization of this market.”

The lawsuit seeks class action status, so it could potentially represent anyone who’s ever sold an iOS app in the US.

Apple of course only allows iOS apps to be installed on iPhones and iPads from the Apple App Store and charges developers a commission for any sales.

The suit claims that Apple’s 30 percent cut is “overly expensive” and that its $99 annual developer fee has “cut unlawfully into” developers’ potential earnings.

The developers also complain that because the App Store is the only distribution point for iOS apps, apps get “buried” among the two million other apps, stifling competition and innovation.

“If Apple did not shut out all competition from access to iOS device owners, there would be more stores that could feature more apps, as well as stores that would specialize in certain kinds of apps,” the suit contends.
Law firm Hagens Berman filed the lawsuit on Tuesday at the US District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose.

The two plaintiffs are the developer of a basketball workout app and a baby-naming app.


Akeem ReachnaijaJune 5, 2019
9551658_googlehideplaystorerivalaptoideappasitaccepthuaweideal_jpeg87e485d5495c8e47f252d2dd600229af-1280x719.jpeg

6min750

As US regulators gear up to launch another antitrust probe of Google’s business, an alternative Android app store is dialing up its longtime complaint of anti-competitive behavior against the search and smartphone OS giant.

Topmag.Pw, has recently reported that Aptoide is in talks to supply its alternative app store for Huawei devices.

In light of the US/China trade uncertainties, and the executive order barring US companies from doing business with the Chinese tech giant, which have led to reports that Google intends to withdraw key Android services like Play from the company.

But Trezentos pours cold water on these rumors, suggesting there has been no change of cadence in its discussions with Huawei.

“We work with three of top six mobile OEMs in the world. Huawei is not one of them yet,” he tells us. “Our Shengzhen office had been in conversations for some months and they are testing our APIs. This process has not been accelerated or delayed by the recent news.”

Portugal-based Aptoide is launching a campaign website to press its case and call for Google to “Play Fair” — accusing Mountain View of squeezing consumer choice by “preventing users from freely choosing their preferred app store”.

Aptoide filed its first EU antitrust complaint against Google all the way back in 2014, joining a bunch of other complainants crying foul over how Google was operating Android.

And while the European Commission did eventually step in, slapping Google with a $5BN penalty for antitrust abuses last summer after a multi-year investigation, rivals continue to complain the Android maker still isn’t playing fair.

In the case of Aptoide, the alternative Android app store says Google has damaged its ability to compete by unjustifiably flagging its app as insecure.

“Since Summer 2018, Google Play Protect flags Aptoide as a harmful app, hiding it in users’ Android devices and requesting them to uninstall it. This results in a potential decrease of unique Aptoide users of 20%.

Google Play Protect is Google’s built-in malware protection for Android, but we believe the way it works damages users’ rights,” it writes on the site, where it highlights what it claims are Google’s anti-competitive behaviors, and asks users to report experiences of the app being flagged.

Google hide aptoide App 

Aptoide says Google has engaged in multiple behaviors that make it harder for it to gain or keep users — thereby undermining its ability to compete with Google’s own Play Store.

“In 2018, we had 222 million yearly active users. Last month (May’19), we had 56 million unique MAU,” co-founder and CEO Paulo Trezentos tells TechCrunch. “We estimate that the Google Play removal and flagging had cause the loss of 15% to 20% of our user base since June’18.”

(The estimate of how many users Aptoide has lost was performed using Google SafetyNet API which he says allows it to query the classification of an app.)

“Fortunately we have been able to compensate that with new users and new partnerships but it is a barrier to a faster growth,” he adds.

“The googleplayfair.com site hopes to bring visibility to this situation and help other start ups that may be under the same circumstances.”Google hide aptoide App Among the anti-competitive behaviors Aptoide accuses Google of engaging in are flagging and suspending its app from users’ phones — without their permission and “without a valid reason”.

“It hides Aptoide. User cannot see Aptoide icon and cannot launch. Even if they go to ‘settings’ and say they trust Aptoide, Aptoide installations are blocked,” he says. “If it looks violent, it’s because it’s a really aggressive move and impactful.”

Here’s the notification Aptoide users are shown when trying to override Google’s suspension of Aptoide at the package manager level:

Even if an Aptoide user overrides the warning — by clicking ‘keep app (unsafe)’ — Trezentos says the app still won’t work because Google blocks Aptoide from installing apps.

“The user has to go to Play Protect settings (discover it it’s not easy) and turn off Play protect for all apps.”

He argues there is no justification for Aptoide’s alternative app store being treated in this way.

“Aptoide is considered safe both by security researchers [citing a paper by Japanese security researchers] and by Virus Total (a company owned by Google),” says Trezentos, adding: “Google is removing Aptoide from users phone only due to anticompetitive practices. Doesn’t want anyone else as distribution channel in Android.”

On the website Aptoide has launched to raise awareness and inform users and other startups about how Google treats its app, it makes the claim that its store is “proven… 100% secure”.


Akeem ReachnaijaJune 3, 2019
9539717_c19161b561524b428b9f1885692091fb_jpeg892e7ad4627ccd99a1d88f5e18fc4fca-1280x720.jpeg

1min680
According to IPlytics, companies in China have applied for roughly 34% of the world’s major 5G patents as of March 2019, compared with South Korea’s 25%, and 14% each for the United States and Finland. Sweden stood at nearly 8%, and Japan at almost 5%, while Taiwan, Canada, the U.K., and Italy rounded out the top 10 countries, each with under 1% shares.


Akeem ReachnaijaJune 3, 2019
2020-toyota-corolla-sedan-39337589.jpg

8min640

Toyota Corolla is a well loved car world over. Even in Nigeria, you can not count 15 cars in a traffic without seeing at least one of any models of Toyota Corrolla. It has proven reputation for reliability, efficiency, affordability, and holds it’s value well.

The 2020 Toyota Corolla is based on the Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA), and there is a new optional engine – hybrid powertrain.

As with the new Corolla hatchback, what’s most commendable about the Corolla sedan is the vast, across-the-board improvement over its predecessor. It looks better, drives better, and feels better inside. Although, the sedan is more comfortable than the Corolla hatchback, which is sportier and has a shorter wheelbase.

The car’s wheelbase, which, at 106.3 inches, is the same as former model but The TNGA platform is new to the sedan. Toyota claims a “big increase in rigidity, and the rear suspension switches from its old torsion-beam arrangement to a new, more sophisticated multilink setup”.
While the Corolla’s ride-and-handling balance is more confident in feel than before, this newest model won’t trouble sportier compacts such as the Mazda 3, Volkswagen Golf, or Honda Civic.

Trims :
There are seven trims of this model: L, LE, Hybrid LE, SE CVT, SE, XLE and XSE.

L, LE, And XLE: It is still is the carryover base engine that’s standard on L, LE, and XLE models. This 1.8-liter inline-four is an ancient powertrain that has been featured in the past several generations of Corolla with minor upgrades. Its 139-hp is on the low end of the compact segment it doesnt perform better than the powerful 2.0L engine that gets better EPA fuel-economy ratings than the base engine.

SE (6MT): The six-speed stick, which even has standard rev-matching capability, comes only in the SE model and mates with the more powerful of the two engine options, a 169-hp 2.0-liter inline-four that’s standard in the sporty-ish SE and XSE trims and 1.8L, 139HP engine.

SE CVT: In the Sport Edition Continuous Variable Timing, a 2.0-liter motor is lashed to a continuously variable automatic transmission, which exacerbates noisiness at higher revs. The combination of the bigger 2.0-liter four and CVT and it takes 8.0-seconds to move from zero-to-60-mph but this is slower than much of the competitors.

Hybrid Model: is a new addition to the Corolla trims and it is a good compromise between the two engines. The hybrid powertrain uses a 121-hp Atkinson-cycle 1.8-liter inline-four and a pair of electric motors, with the drive motor generating 71-hp. This gives an impressive 52 mpg combined, nearly 20 mpg more than other petrol Corollas and right on top of its closest rival, the Honda Insight (which is, essentially, a rebranded Civic hybrid). However, the little disadvantage of choosing the Corolla hybrid, other than its $3000 price difference to the base model is that due to the placement of the battery pack under the rear seats, it has the same amount of trunk space as the conventionally powered model, and the rear seatbacks even fold flat, creating a pass-through from the trunk to the interior for longer cargo.
Press “EV mode” to get more throttle response on hybrid mode.

XSE Model: This comes standard with what Toyota lists as a sport suspension, paired with 225/40R-18 Yokohama AVID GT all-season tires. While its steering and chassis behavior are improved, they’re still nowhere near sharp enough to encourage aggressive driving – skidding etc.

Fuel Efficiency: the XSE average fuel economy over 900 miles amounted to 28 mpg. Toyota claims that the average mpg for this model is 31 city/38 highway (estimated).

Interior: Rear-seat space is one of the few areas where the new car doesn’t at least beat the old one. Rear legroom drops by more than six inches (the old Corolla had a positively more amount of space in back), so it’s not quite as Uber-friendly, but the rear quarters are still more spacious than in the Corolla hatchback model. Interior materials are average for this class of sedan— cheap plastic interior materials are kept to a minimum, and the dashboard layout is attractive — the infotainment setup is easy to use, with volume and tuning knobs and standard Apple CarPlay capability. (Android Auto is not available).

Pricing: The starting price of this model (excluding shipping and customs duty) is $19500 (NGN7,039,500, exchanged at 361/$1) of L trim. The LE trim costs $19950, Hybrid LE trim costs $22,950, SE CVT trim costs $21,950, SE manual drive (6MT) costs $22650, XLE trim costs $23,950 and the top-of-range trim, XSE costs a whopping$25,450 (N9,187,450).

Safety Features: The 2020 Corolla comes with 8 standard airbags, pre collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, steering assist, road edge detection, blind spot monitor, remote control (you can use to locate your car if you forgot where you parked), automatic highbeams, full speed range dynamic radar cruise control, lane tracing assist, and road sign assist.

Colours: There are 8 colours to choose from viz: Celeste, silver metallic, Black sand pearl, Barcelona red metallic, super white, blizzard pearl, blueprint, blue crush metallic
The Corolla sedan remains a compact Car that this model significantly better than the last few generations of Corollas.

While Toyota succeeded in removing most of the reasons not to buy a Corolla by making the 2020 model more pleasant to drive, they still maintained all the signature design that already made it good choice.