It’s Friday, which can only mean one thing – it’s time for our weekly roundup of mobile news! This week, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 saga finally comes to an end as the company has halted production of the device entirely. We also have news on LG’s foray into wireless charging, as well as updates on apps from Google, Facebook and Prisma. So, let’s get started…
It’s all over for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7
After countless reports of replacement Galaxy Note 7 handsets smoking and catching fire, Samsung has finally ceased production of the device. The company had already stopped sales and exchanges of the handset worldwide while they investigated the cause of the issue, but it looks like this is officially the end for the handset. If you still have a Galaxy Note 7, whether an original or replacement handset, Samsung request that you turn it off immediately and return it.
Ensuring safety is of the utmost priority, if you choose to mail your handset back, Samsung will send you a prepaid, insulated return kit which includes a pair of gloves, a static shielding bag, two cardboard boxes and a ceramic recovery box to put the phone in. While it still remains unclear what the cause of the fault is, Samsung will continue their investigations to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
LG embrace wireless charging
It was only a matter of time before wireless charging became the next big thing in the smartphone world. LG are next to embrace it, as the company has announced it is developing a 15-watt wireless charging pad that promises to be up to three times stronger than existing options out there. It also claims to charge your phone by 50% in just 30 minutes – a speed only rivalled by fast-charging cables seen on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and HTC 10. As none of LG’s current handsets support wireless charging, this is a major hint that their next flagship device, the LG G6, will be compatible with the charging pad. We anticipate the LG G6 to drop around April next year, a full year after the release of the G5.
Make way for Duo
While Google’s Duo video calling app hasn’t exactly taken the world by storm, we are set to see a lot more of it in future, as it’s being added to the core package of apps that must be downloaded on Android devices. But, Google is going one step further in its efforts to promote Duo by replacing Hangouts entirely, making it the new default app for video calling on Android. However, Google has ensured Hangouts will not disappear completely and they will continue to develop it – you’ll just have to download it yourself from now on.
Strangely, Google’s messenger Allo, which launched alongside Duo, is not being added to the core apps just yet. Whether this is because the company has deemed video calling more important or Allo is not quite as refined as they’d like it to be is unclear. The new package will launch from the start of December, so Android phones released in 2017 will come equipped with it.
Facebook release Events app
Remember the distain we all felt when Facebook removed Messenger from its app to launch it separately? Well, it’s set to happen again with events. Facebook claims more than 100 million people worldwide use Facebook to organise events, so they believe launching a new app specifically for this will help users find more events and keep better track of invites from friends. The new Events app even features an interactive map, so you can visually browse events around you, and the ability to integrate events with your calendar to ensure you don’t miss a thing. Currently, it is only available for iOS in the US, but it is undoubtedly only a matter of time before it hits the UK.
Transform your videos with Prisma
One of our favourite apps at Tesco Mobile, Prisma, has released a new update for iOS that allows you to add filters to videos, rather than just static images. The new feature lets you to transform 15 second video clips into works of art by applying nine of Prisma’s 30 available filters. While it is still in the beta phase, Prisma plans to develop the quality of video filters shortly and no doubt enable more filters to be used on moving images. If you have an Android device, however, you’ll need to wait a little longer to experiment with this update.
That’s all for this week’s mobile news – we’ll be back next Friday will all the latest updates at Tesco Mobile!