This week's headlines: 18th November 2018
It’s been another busy week of tech news. Here’s what you missed from this week’s headlines - including the latest from OnePlus, Samsung, Apple, Google and Microsoft.
Samsung’s foldable phone to cost $1770
Samsung’s foldable smartphone has attracted worldwide attention, but few are likely to be able to afford its first iteration. Korean news agency Yonhap is stating that the phone will be called the Samsung Galaxy F, and it will release in March for a stunning price: $1770. That’s twice the price of the Note 9, although I suppose technically you are getting two devices for the price of one, thanks to the folding screens. The Galaxy F will arrive alongside the Galaxy S10, which is expected to be a 5G-capable smartphone that will also likely command a high price - if not quite that ridiculous.
OnePlus releases ‘thunder purple’ 6T phone this week
Fancy a OnePlus 6T? Want it to look… a little different? Lucky for you, OnePlus have just unveiled a new colour for their new smartphone, which they’re calling thunder purple. The meteorologically-inspired shade made its debut in China last week, and is now available in the UK, Europe and the US. In the UK, expect to pay £529 for a purple 6T with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, the same price as similarly-specced Mirror Black and Midnight Black options that arrived first.
Intel’s first 5G modem to be tested in iPhones next year
Intel is expected to supply Apple with 5G modems to test in iPhones in 2019, according to a report from Intel themselves. Originally, Intel was rumoured to be creating 5G modems for Apple to ship in 2020, but this week Intel announced that the 5G modems would be produced ahead of schedule, to the tune of half a year. That means that Apple would potentially be able to use the chip late next year, or have considerable testing before releasing a 5G-capable iPhone in 2020. For what it’s worth, most other smartphone makers - including Samsung, Xiaomi, OnePlus, LG, Sony and more - are using Qualcomm 5G modems, which should be available next year.
Google announces Wear OS H
Google has unveiled its latest updates to its Android Wear smartwatch platform this week. The upcoming ‘H’ update will include a number of changes, including a more extreme battery saver mode that restricts your watch to showing the time only once it reaches 10% battery remaining. Google will also stop tracking activity after 30 minutes of inactivity, also saving battery life. Turning off your watch has also become faster; it’s now possible to hold the power button and then select ‘power off’ or ‘restart’ immediately. Finally, apps now actually remember what you were doing in them between sessions, so you shouldn’t have to waste a lot of time setting up your favourite fitness app or relaunching games. The app is expected to arrive in the next few weeks.
Windows October update rolls out for the second time, teases light theme
Microsoft’s Windows 10 October update was pulled earlier this month when it emerged that the update had deleted some users’ files, and this week it was pushed again today now that this problem has been solved. Microsoft also teased an upcoming version of Windows 10, including a more comprehensive light theme to contrast the dark theme that arrived in the October update. Windows 10 will also get smarter about not updating when you’re using the PC, with the previously static ‘active hours’ where it couldn’t update becoming dynamic, based on your actual activity. That means if you’ve stayed up late playing video games for a few nights, Microsoft will take notice and not try to push updates while you’re in the middle of that important 2v5 retake on de_dust2. Better text narration, an improved print window and ‘smarter screen selection’ is also included. The update has already rolled out to Windows Insiders on the Fast ring; it should arrive to Slow ring Insiders and the general public in the upcoming weeks and months.
That’s all the time we have for now, so thanks for reading the news! Feel free to let me know what you thought of the article on Twitter - I’m @wsjudd. Thanks again and we’ll see you again next week!