Samsung announces new Bixby smart assistant w/ camera and hardware integration

With this morning’s official announcement of the Galaxy S8, we finally got our first look at Samsung’s brand new smart assistant called Bixby. This isn’t just a refreshed S Voice, though, as Bixby is capable (according to Samsung) of doing everything you could do if you picked up the Galaxy S8…

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Huawei announces support for Daydream, Google’s new platform for VR on Android

At Google I/O‘s keynote yesterday, one of the highlights of the final unveiling of Android N was all about Virtual Reality. While no “Android VR” headset was announced, the search giant introduced Daydream, a VR platform that will be available within Android N.

According to Clay Bavor, which debuted Daydream on stage, as many as eight big-name partners are already onboard: Samsung, HTC, LG, Xiaomi, ZTE, Asus, Alcatel and Huawei, and today, the latter OEM is giving us some more information about its integration with Google’s VR vision…

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HTC announces $799 Vive Consumer Edition, pre-orders begin Feb 29 with early April ship date

Along with announcing new mid-range devices at MWC 2016, HTC has announced the price for the Vive Consumer Edition and an early April ship date, with pre-orders beginning on February 29. The final headset features better ergonomics, improved controllers, and smartphone pairing.

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Acer announces convertible Chromebook R13, first MediaTek powered Chromebook

IFA 2016 is now in full swing over in Berlin (with 9to5Google’s Stephen Hall at the show), and among other insane laptops, Acer has today announced the new Chromebook R13, a bigger brother to the popular Chromebook R11. This new convertible Chromebook packs a 13.3-inch touchscreen display on a reversible hinge, along with the first MediaTek processor ever in a Chromebook.

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LG announces mobile payment service to compete with Apple, Google and Samsung

The mobile payments industry is getting more crowded by the month. Early this morning, LG confirmed on its Facebook page that it will be entering the market with LG Pay, and has signed up a couple of Korean partners to do so. The company has joined forces with Shinhan Card and KB Kookmin Card in its home country, but didn’t say when the service is going live, or when it’ll expand to international markets.

The service will work on most LG phones, new or old. Although the company has been light on detail, we’re assuming that means those with built in NFC. Although, conceivably, it could be like Samsung Pay in that it works with both contactless NFC card readers as well as traditional Magstrip ones. Like Samsung and Apple, the service will only work on its own devices and isn’t cross-platform or cross-manufacturer.

Although we’re not surprised that LG has decided to follow in the example of Sammy, it’s still bemusing that any Android OEM should seek to release their own payment system when Android Pay is already here and will eventually work on most devices as long as they have an NFC antenna.

We’re skeptical of LG’s chances of success in a crowded market, but you can be sure that — in the future — LG’s mobile payment app will become yet another piece of bloatware to add to an already bursting collection of unnecessary duplicate apps and services.

Huawei announces flagship Kirin 950 octa-core processor, will give Snapdragon 820 a run for its money

Right on schedule, Huawei took the wraps off its next generation mobile processor at an event in Beijing this morning. The Kirin 950 packs in some impressive specs and looks set to give Qualcomm’s already-troubled Snapdragon 820 chip some stiff competition…

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