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Mobile news: What happened this week?

Mobile Phone News

Welcome back to another edition of mobile news at The Hub! This week, we’re looking at a number of exciting new rumours about three highly anticipated smartphones: the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, and the Samsung Galaxy S10.

We also have news on the recent Google Assistant update, along with details of the latest EU antitrust fine against Google.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 predicted to outperform Galaxy S9 and iPhone X

There’s no doubt the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will be one of the most advanced smartphones to launch in 2018, but it might be even more powerful than originally expected. In fact, according to a new benchmarking score from Geekbench, the Galaxy Note 9 could be one of the fastest Android devices on the market when it arrives.

So, just how fast is it? The benchmark shows a multi-core score of 12,246 and a single-core score of 4,089. In comparison, the iPhone X’s multi-core performance is significantly lower, topping out at 10,127.

These impressive scores suggest the Note 9 may ship with Samsung’s upcoming Exynos 9820 processor – an alleged successor of the Galaxy S9’s Exynos 9810.

Luckily, you won’t have to wait long to find out whether these rumours are true – the upcoming Note 9 launch event takes place on 9 August.

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Google is rolling out a new useful feature on its Assistant app

If you struggle to stay on top of your daily to-do list, the Google Assistant app is about to make your life a little easier. Google announced the AI-powered personal helper will be upgraded with a new “visual snapshot” of your day whenever you open the app on your phone.

The latest feature, which will be available on Android and iOS phones this week, curates personalised information and helpful notifications in one convenient spot. So rather than having to jump between Google Calendar and Gmail, you’ll see your entire agenda – everything from reminders to upcoming bills, appointments and packages in transit – all organised in an easy-to-read format.

Google Assistant also helps to streamline your schedule by presenting the most relevant information based on the time of day and your location. At 5:00pm, the app might display the fastest route home and remind you of your dinner reservations later that evening. In the afternoon, you’ll likely see a notification for an upcoming meeting or weather updates instead.

The Galaxy S10’s fingerprint scanner will reportedly be ultrasonic

A recent report suggests Samsung may ditch its current optical fingerprint scanner in favour of an ultrasonic sensor. Developed by Qualcomm, these innovative in-screen scanners emit an ultrasonic pulse to produce a highly detailed 3D image of the fingerprint.

Not only are they considered to be more secure than their optical counterparts, ultrasonic fingerprint sensors are also powerful enough to ignore contaminants like dirt or grease that might interfere with the scanning process.

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the ultrasonic sensors will appear on two Galaxy S10 models set to be released in early 2019: the 6.1-inch and the 6.4-inch versions.

fingerprint scanner

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Google hit with record-breaking £3.8 billion fine over Android antitrust violations

Google has been handed a whopping €4.34 billion (£3.8 billion) fine from the European Union for using anti-competitive practices relating to its Android operating system.

The European Commission claims Google used illegal methods to pressure phone-makers to pre-install Google’s search app and Chrome browser in devices running Android OS. Allegedly, Google also paid smartphone manufacturers to keep competitor search engines off their phones.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, said “These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete.”

In a blog post, Google’s chief executive officer Sundar Pichai shared the following statement in response to the allegations:

“Rapid innovation, wide choice, and falling prices are classic hallmarks of robust competition and Android has enabled all of them. Today’s decision rejects the business model that supports Android, which has created more choice for everyone, not less.”

Google plans to appeal the multibillion-euro charge – which is the largest amount ever issued by the European Commission in an antitrust case.

Thanks for joining us for this week’s mobile news roundup! Be sure to visit The Hub again next week for all the latest from the world of mobile technology.

Mobile Phone News