Facebook Messenger adds quoted replies (Apple Watch bands) iPhone cases and Huawei Mate X (The nubia Red Magic 3 battery Capacity)


1. Apple releases Watch bands and iPhone cases in a bunch of spring colors

2. Huawei Mate X coming to India this year

3. The nubia Red Magic 3 battery will have at least 5,000mAh capacity

4. Facebook Messenger finally adds quoted replies

5. vivo Funtouch 9 based on Android Pie gets official alongside the X27

6. Amazon updates base model Kindle with an illuminated display

7. Opera for Android update brings unlimited VPN service



1. Apple releases Watch bands and iPhone cases in a bunch of spring colors

Aside from announcing the next-generation Apple AirPods, Apple also announced a plethora of new color options for various Apple Watch and iPhone cases just in time for the spring.

Following the release of Apple’s Smart Battery Cases for the newer iPhone XS and XS Max, Apple is now releasing a Pink Sand option that will now be available alongside the black and white ones that were initially available.

The iPhone XS and XS Max silicone cases are getting new colors: Deft blue, papaya, and spearmint. The Apple Watch Sport Bands will also be available in the same colors we just mentioned.

For Apple Watches, four kinds of Bands are getting new color options. The Sport Loop will come in papaya, cerulean, spearmint, and lilac while the holey Nike Sport band will come in black / hyper grape, spruce fog / vintage lichen, and teal tint / tropical twist.

Finally, Apple will be selling the Modern Buckle in cornflower, lilac, and sunset while the Leather Loops are coming in cornflower and sunset.



2. Huawei Mate X coming to India this year

The Huawei Mate X foldable 5G smartphone that was unveiled at MWC last month was just confirmed to launch in India before the year is over.

Huawei hasn't revealed an exact date of the phone's launch in India yet, but the company will release this smartphone in different markets from mid-2019. The company said it will prioritize 5G markets as they can leverage the phone's next gen network support so you can expect its India availability in the later months.

Unlike Samsung's Galaxy Fold that features two displays and folds inwards, the Mate X comes with a single large display and folds outwards. It has an 8-inch display that lets you use it as a tablet, and when folded, it reduces to two very tall displays.

The Huawei Mate X ships with a Kirin 980 SoC with 8GB RAM and 512GB storage. It comes with four cameras - 40MP, 16MP (ultra-wide), 8 MP (telephoto), and ToF - and packs a 4,500 mAh battery with support for 55W SuperCharge fast charging.

The Mate X is priced at €2,299 which translates to around INR 180,000. It remains to be seen if Huawei, like Samsung, will manufacture its foldable smartphone in India to keep the costs down.



3. The nubia Red Magic 3 battery will have at least 5,000mAh capacity

Ni Fei, the GM at nubia, has been dropping hints about the Red Magic 3, including spec details like Snapdragon 855, 12GB RAM, high refresh rate screen and so on. His continued teasers suggested that the battery of the new phone will be a good deal bigger than the 3,800mAh battery of the nubia Red Magic Mars.

The current thinking is that the battery will be 5,000mAh – that’s more than the typical gaming phone, which has a 4,000mAh battery. The current model (Mars) supports up to 18W fast charging, there’s no word on any improvements on that side yet.

Another interesting feature of the Red Magic 3 is the built-in active air cooling. Previous models had a vapor chamber that directed heat to vents which relied on passive convection. The new model will have a fan inside, which can be seen in this patent filing (also shared by Ni Fei).

The fan will improve cooling by 73% and will kick in only for the most demanding games. We’ll find out the full details when the phone is unveiled in April.



4. Opera for Android update brings unlimited VPN service

Almost two years after adding free and unlimited VPN to its desktop browser Opera for Android is getting the same treatment. Version 51 of Opera for Android, will finally bring VPN service to the mobile browser, in continuation of the company's commitment to user security.

Opera claims you will have enhanced control over your online privacy, notably when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks. The VPN service is of the no log variety, meaning it will not store any user data on Opera's servers.

To start using the new feature, simply download or update your current app and head over to settings where you will now see a VPN sub-menu. Once activated, the 256-bit encryption will create a secure private connection between the user’s device and the remote VPN server.

The feature will not allow you to mask your location to a specific country but simply offer three regions - America, Asia and Europe.



5. Amazon updates base model Kindle with an illuminated display

Amazon has launched an updated version of its cheapest Kindle. For the first time, the base model Kindle now comes with an illuminated display.

The new Kindle features a 4 LED front lighting system (an e-ink display is front lit, as opposed to being backlight like an LCD). In comparison, the more expensive Kindle Paperwhite has a 5 LED lighting while the top of the line Kindle Oasis has 12 LED lighting. Still, 4 LED is better than no LED, and the Kindle features adjustable brightness for comfortable reading in all lighting conditions.

The 6-inch display itself has also been updated with a newer panel that has higher contrast. It's also a capacitive touchscreen now for fewer accidental swipes. Unfortunately, at 167 ppi, the new model still has the same pixel density as the previous one. In comparison, the more expensive Kindle Paperwhite and Oasis have a 300 ppi display, which makes the text look considerably sharper and print-like.

The new model also features a slightly updated design, which is thinner and lighter.

Apart from that, this is still pretty much the same basic Kindle as before, which is to say, it's still a great tool for reading on the go. Sure, the more expensive models are nicer with a few extra bells and whistles but if you just want to get into reading, this base model will be perfectly fine and now with the backlight, it will no longer become useless in the dark.



6. vivo Funtouch 9 based on Android Pie gets official alongside the X27

vivo unveiled the X27 today, a phone that's similar in a lot of ways to the previously announced V15 Pro, but definitely comes with a bunch of differences as well. At the same launch event, the Chinese company also officially presented the latest iteration of its Android skin, now Funtouch 9.

As the number implies, this is based on Google's Android 9 Pie, and although it's what the V15 Pro runs as well, vivo has only gone through what's new this time around.

Funtouch 9 apparently comes with 72 new features, 55 optimizations of different details, 263 UI improvements, as well as a simpler and more beautiful interface, and a smarter and friendlier user experience - at least according to vivo.

There's more white space because that's been a UI/UX design trend for too long now and can't be ignored anymore, and this lets you more easily focus on the content. Funtouch 9 is said to have "soft and restrained" colors, as well as rich details.

You can change themes, icon layouts, add rounded corners, and dark patterns. The new OS comes with some semi-abstract wallpapers built-in too. Expect to see Funtouch 9 on all vivo smartphones launching from this point forward.



7. Facebook Messenger finally adds quoted replies

Today Facebook Messenger has added a sorely missing feature - quoted replies. This allows you to reply to a specific message in a conversation, and is incredibly helpful when you're engaged in chats that have a big range of topics. Using the new feature, the people you're talking to will now know exactly what you were replying to with that "LOL", for example.

This has been a feature in WhatsApp, which is also owned by Facebook, for a very long time, and it's always been sort of a baffling omission in Messenger. So it's good to finally see it there too.

In order to quote a specific message, long tap on it and you'll see a new Reply button to the right of the reaction emojis. Tap that, write your reply, and, just like in WhatsApp, the message you're replying to will appear above your reply. Easy. This potentially means you'll have less misunderstandings with your friends as to which message was referencing what.

The feature is rolling out now on both iOS and Android.

 

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