Apple MacBook with two displays and a virtual OLED keyboard could be in the works

Apple could be planning on producing a MacBook which consists of two displays, replacing the traditional notebook base with a second OLED screen that can function as a keyboard in the same vein as the Touch Bar.

This is according to a patent (spotted by Patently Apple), and it would mean in effect that you’d have a traditional MacBook with a virtual OLED keyboard – although this is not the only implementation the document discusses.

Such a secondary OLED display would give the MacBook obvious benefits in terms of flexibility, because while it could act as a traditional keyboard, it could also become, say, a sketch pad, or it could display the full custom controls for a game. In short, it’d be possible to pull off all sorts of neat tricks in that respect.

Apple also mentions using ‘polarizer layers’ to help reduce any possible reflections of the light of one screen on the other, and which may also allow the user to view the screens outdoors while wearing sunglasses.

The patent mentions not just a MacBook use case, but also the possibility of having a detachable 2-in-1 built like this, which might indicate that Apple could be considering pairing up this invention with the iPad rather than its notebooks.

As ever, this is just a patent, and its existence doesn’t necessarily mean anything for either MacBooks or iPads; ultimately, the concept may never leave the development and testing labs.

Patently polarizing

If it does come to fruition as a MacBook, it’s likely not just going to have ‘polarizer layers’, but also a polarizing effect – there are certainly those who dislike the Touch Bar, and they’re unlikely to welcome the expansion of the concept to a full virtual keyboard.

There may be doubts about exactly how effective such a virtual peripheral can be compared to the typing action of a physical keyboard. Although Lenovo has already done something similar with its Yoga Book convertible complete with virtual Halo Keyboard, and we were “amazed” at how accurate the typing experience felt.

Perhaps what will be more worrying to those in the doubting camp is what this might do to the price tag of the MacBook. Especially if you look at the inflationary effect the introduction of the Touch Bar had on Apple’s notebook range.

Still, we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves here, and the concept is definitely an interesting one if it does ever see the light of day.

Via Slashgear

Amazon Music is finally in India

Amazon India has formally launched Amazon Music, their music streaming app, for India. If you’re already an Amazon Prime subscriber, then you will have full access to this service. 

Initially, access to Amazon Music was restricted to Amazon Echo, the smart speaker line-up by the company. Now, it can be accessed via the Apple Store, Play Store as well as Amazon’s online portal at music.amazon.in. 

Amazon Music app interface

Once you log in to the app, it asks for your music preference. Options include Hindi, English, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Bhojpuri, Bengali, Gujarati and Rajasthani. After this, Amazon Music will curate the main screen, playlists and stations as per your selection.

In case you’re an Echo device user, Amazon Music will able to integrate your playlists and albums in the ‘recently played’ section. Needless to say, the app can be synced to Alexa, Amazon’s virtual personal assistant. 

The app even gives you the option to choose the streaming quality, storage location and whether or not you want to use Wi-Fi (exclusively) for downloads. A nice little plug-in is the ‘sleep timer’. Choosing from a range of 15 minutes to 60 minutes, the app will will automatically switch off once that time is completed. 

Subscription comparison

Amazon Music is a part of Amazon Prime, so it will cost Rs 999 per annum. This may sound expensive in bulk but essentially it comes up to Rs 83.25 per month. That’s marginally cheaper than its competition with Apple Music costing Rs 120 per month and Google Play Music being Rs 99 per month. Apple Music does offer a student subscription, which would bring their cost down to Rs 60 per month, something the other two services do not offer. 

As compared to Saavn and Gaana, Amazon music is still cheaper than Rs 1050 and Rs 1020, respectively for the two services. 

It should be mentioned that if you have an Amazon Prime subscription, it gives you access to Prime Video and free express delivery options as well.

Content comparison

More important than the price, is the content collection. A service can be free but won’t amount to much if it doesn’t offer the music that you actually want to listen to. 

Similar to the approach that Amazon took with Prime Video, Amazon’s unique proposition is to focus on regional content. They have tie ups with labels like T-Series, Sony Music, Saregama, Zee Music, Venus Music and a host of other local entities to ensure that there isn’t any shortage of regional music on the streaming service. 

Amazon India hasn’t made any statements about the volume of content that is available but internationally there are around 40 million songs included in the Amazon Music Unlimited subscription. Apple and Google also claim to have around 40-45 million tracks in their catalogue.

Huawei Watch 3 release date, price, news and rumors

Update: Huawei CEO Richard Yu has told TechRadar the company is working on a third iteration of its smartwatch, but he doesn’t yet know when it’ll be announced. Read on below to see all of the Huawei Watch 3 rumors so far.

Huawei is one of the biggest names in Android Wear, thanks to its impressive Huawei Watch and feature-packed but flawed Huawei Watch 2.

Huawei CEO Richard Yu spoke to TechRadar at MWC 2018 and revealed the company is working on a third iteration of its smartwatch, but he doesn’t know yet when it’ll be ready for release. 

While we wait, we’ve put together a wish-list for what we want to see. Before that though, here’s everything we’ve heard or suspect about when the Huawei Watch 3 might launch, and what it might feature.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next smartwatch from Huawei
  • When is it out? Possibly early-mid 2018, maybe later
  • What will it cost? Likely upwards of £330 ($300, AU$450)

Huawei Watch 3 release date and price

The Huawei Watch 2 was announced at MWC 2017 and went on sale in April 2017, so at one stage we thought we may see the Huawei Watch 3 at MWC 2018, but it didn’t show up.

The company isn’t planning to announce its next flagship phone – the Huawei P20 – until an event on March 27, so it may be the wearable is set to go alongside that announcement.

That’s unlikely though considering Huawei’s CEO Richard Yu told TechRadar he doesn’t think the company should rush to make a new watch. 

Yu told TechRadar, “It will come later – there’s no hurry because Huawei Watch 2 sells well. We’re not in a hurry, so we’re launching the new watch later.” 

Plus, not much has changed in terms of Android Wear hardware and software since the launch of the Huawei Watch 2. We’re still on Android Wear 2, which the Watch 2 was one of the first to use, and the Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset is still the chip of choice for wearables, so Huawei might wait until the next big change in the space to launch a new wearable.

Whenever the Huawei Watch 3 does launch it will probably be a high-end, expensive device. There aren’t any price rumors yet, but the Huawei Watch 2 started at £329 ($299, AU$450) when it first arrived, so the Watch 3 might have a similar price tag.

Huawei Watch 3 news and rumors

There’s very little in the way of Huawei Watch 3 news and rumors so far. In fact, all we’ve really come across is some Huawei patents.

The most recent of these describes a watch with sensors that can recognize gestures made on the back of your hand, so you could for example make the shape of a letter and have it appear on the screen, allowing you to more easily write things using your smartwatch.

Additional gestures could include a double tap or a long press, so you could potentially fully interact with the watch without touching it.

The Huawei Watch 3 might let you write on your hand instead of the screen. Credit: WIPO/LetsGoDigital

We’ve also seen a patent which describes a smartwatch with touch-sensitive bezels.

The patent shows a bezel divided into eight sections, each of which could be tapped to do something on the watch.

But you could also touch multiple sections at the same time to perform an even wider variety of actions, and these actions could go beyond just launching apps, allowing you to also zoom in or out and scroll through menus for example.

Could this be the headline feature of the Huawei Watch 3? Credit: WIPO

It’s a potentially more useful – if also more complicated – alternative to the rotating bezel the likes of the Samsung Gear S3 has.

It would be a handy addition, given that the Huawei Watch 2 is notably light on control methods, but this being a patent there’s no guarantee anything will ever happen with it, let alone that it will be used for the Huawei Watch 3 specifically.

What we want to see

Huawei has been quiet about the Watch 3 so far, but we’re not going to be quiet about what we want from it. The following seven things could make it a big improvement from the Huawei Watch 2.

1. A stylish design

The Huawei Watch looks far more stylish than the Huawei Watch 2

The original Huawei Watch had an attractive design, the Huawei Watch 2… not so much. It traded a smart metal finish for a sportier, chunkier one, with big bezels and a plastic build.

It’s not actively ugly, and the sporty design suits its sportier innards, plus there’s also a Huawei Watch 2 Classic with a look that is more stylish, but that comes with a higher price tag and isn’t available with LTE.

For the Huawei Watch 3 we want the standard version of the watch to have a slim, stylish look, without sacrificing features in the process. We wouldn’t complain if a plastic version is offered too at a lower price, but it should have the same specs.

2. Powerful performance

Despite being a top-end watch when it launched and still being up there with the more powerful smartwatches on paper, the Huawei Watch 2 proved a little sluggish in practice, which is not what we want when we’re dropping hundreds on a wearable.

So for the Huawei Watch 3 we want a performance boost, whether through more RAM, a faster chipset or just software optimizations. Apps should open instantly and interacting with the watch should be smooth.

3. A rotating crown

The Huawei Watch 2 has two buttons as well as a touchscreen, but it doesn’t have a rotating bezel or crown. This isn’t overly surprising, as few Android Wear devices do, but these are handy ways to add an additional input method to the watch without really taking up any more space.

They let you scroll through menus without obscuring the tiny screen, which is a nice feature to have, and one that some major rivals – such as the Apple Watch 3 – sport.

4. A larger screen

The Huawei Watch 2’s screen feels slightly more cramped than we’d like

Despite having a chunkier build than the original Huawei Watch, the Huawei Watch 2 actually has a smaller screen of just 1.2 inches.

It’s fairly sharp and bright but it feels cramped, especially when trying to use an on-screen keyboard, so we’d like to see a larger screen of around 1.4 inches on the Huawei Watch 3.

5. A slicker charger

The Huawei Watch 2 employs a fiddly, inelegant charging solution, requiring you to line up a cradle with pogo pins on the back of the watch.

It’s not a huge issue but it could be so much simpler, and we want it to be for the Huawei Watch 3. A simple wireless charger that you plop the watch straight onto would do just fine.

6. Support for standard straps

More strap choice would definitely be a good thing

While the Huawei Watch 2 uses the standard 20mm strap size, its design means you can still only attach straps designed specifically for it.

This seems like a real missed opportunity to give buyers a near endless selection of strap options, so for the Huawei Watch 3 we want a design that allows for any and all standard straps (in whatever size Huawei chooses) to be used with it.

7. Longer life

The Huawei Watch 2 actually lasts a reasonably long time by smartwatch standards, with up to around two days of life if you’re not using a SIM card, but that plummets to only just over a day if you do use a SIM and even at two days you’ll be charging it at least a few times a week.

Space for a larger battery is understandably limited, but if Huawei can do anything to stretch the Watch 3’s life further we’d appreciate it.

OnePlus 6 leaked photos show off a notched-screen design

It’s starting to look like notches might become a common feature of phones now that Apple has set a precedent with the iPhone X, and the OnePlus 6 could be one of the next handsets to sport one if new leaked images prove accurate.

The images, obtained by ITHome, show a small notch jutting into of an otherwise bezel-free screen, housing the camera and earpiece (it’s not particularly easy to see in the image below, but look closely and it’s there).

The screen itself is on, and shows that the device seemingly has the model number P7819, 6GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and runs Android 8.1 – all things that are unsurprising, given that even the OnePlus 5T tops out at 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

This could be an early look at the OnePlus 6. Credit: ITHome

Back in glass

You can also see the rear of the phone, which appears to be glass, marking a change from the metal back of the 5T. It houses a fingerprint scanner, a dual-lens camera and the OnePlus logo.

It remains to be seen whether these images are accurate, especially as OnePlus doesn’t always follow trends – most notably sticking to Full HD screens – but they look like they could be the real deal.

With the OnePlus 6 unlikely to land before June we may not know for sure for a good while yet, but we expect to see plenty more leaks and rumors before then, and we’ll be sure to keep you up to date with them.

Via Softpedia

Huawei Watch 3 launch confirmed, but it won’t be anytime soon

Huawei CEO Richard Yu has confirmed to TechRadar the company is working on a third smartwatch, but said it is in no hurry to release it.

When asked about the possibility of a third smartwatch, Yu told TechRadar, “It will come later – there’s no hurry because Huawei Watch 2 sells well. We’re not in a hurry, so we’re launching the new watch later.”

Leaks and rumors of a Huawei Watch 3 have been quiet even though it’s now a full year since the company revealed its second generation wearable at MWC 2017.

Some had expected the company to bring a third iteration to the show, but instead the company used its MWC 2018 conference to announce the MateBook X Pro and new MediaPad 5 range.

Probably not with the P20

Yu didn’t reveal any exact timing details for the Huawei Watch 3, but his comments about the Huawei Watch 2 continuing to sell well suggest the firm won’t be revealing a new smartwatch alongside the Huawei P20 either.

The company will reveal its new flagship device on March 27 at an event in Paris, and we’ve heard reports it may have three cameras on the rear and focus on improving its camera credentials.

As for the Huawei Watch 3, we will likely have to wait a little while longer. Huawei does sometimes reveal products at tech conference IFA in September, so it may be we don’t see a new piece of wristwear from the firm until the tailend of 2018 or perhaps even later.

MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2018 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar’s world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone. 

The Asus ZenFone 5 looks like an Android iPhone X, with added AI smarts