The beloved Nokia 3310 is back with 4G LTE and Android

One of the bombshell announcements of MWC 2017 was the revamped Nokia 3310. Following up on the buzz at MWC 2018 will be tough for manufacturer HMD Global, but it will give it a try with a 4G-enabled version of the phone called the Nokia 3310 4G.

Unlike the top-secret Samsung Galaxy S9, the 3310 4G has actually already been announced in China, but isn’t confirmed for arrival elsewhere – these are the sort of details we look forward to being revealed at MWC. 

Even so, the device is in the open and as such, we know a lot about it. The 4G-friendly 3310 will look the same as last year’s model, but the software inside is reportedly improved over a Java-based platform to an Android-based operating system made by Chinese retail giant Alibaba – though that could change if it makes it to the US, UK or AU regions. 

The big 4G differences

Hopping up from 2G and 3G to 4G with the new version of the Nokia 3310 comes with its share of perks, including the ability to act as a Wi-Fi hot spot, and high-definition VoLTE calling support.

Since the phone doesn’t appear to have changed, the same can presumably be said about its battery life. Based on projections, 4G looks to take a heavy toll on the 3310, bringing the lifespan down to about five hours of talk time compared to the 2G version’s 15-hour target.

Global availability of the Nokia 3310 4G is unconfirmed, as is its price, but we expect at least a $20-30 premium for the feature compared to the 3G version, which sits at $59 in the US, £59.99 in the UK and AU$89.95 in Australia. 

If it shows up at MWC at the end of February, Nokia’s nostalgia trip of a phone might not capture hearts and minds that it did last year, but a 4G-enhanced classic will certainly appeal to good amount of people.

Via The Verge

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Custom hot phrases allowed in future update to Google app

"Hey, Google," "OK, Google," "Yo, Google?" Perhaps soon enough with a roll-out of a new feature for Google Assistant to be updated through the Google app.

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Huawei P20 could launch on March 27

Huawei’s next flagship smartphone, the Huawei P20, is likely to launch on March 27 according to an invitation that TechRadar has received. 

Huawei’s press invitation doesn’t leave a hint that the P20 will be in attendance, but following a brief back-and-forth over what the Chinese company’s upcoming device will be called, the details confirming such a device seem to be falling into place.

While not the premier flagship in Huawei’s arsenal of phones, the most recent entry, the Huawei P10, was a solid, cohesive effort that featured high-end specs, as well as the company’s signature Leica-engineered optics, packed into a build that’s smaller than what we’ve seen recently in the Huawei Mate 10 Pro.

Could we see three P20 models?

The latest rumors appear to confirm the Huawei P20, including two variations on the model: the Huawei P20 Plus and Huawei P20 Lite. Our invite makes a mention of “newly launched devices”, which could play into us seeing multiple models. 

This launch is oddly timed, slated a few weeks after MWC 2018 where the Samsung Galaxy S9 will debut. While likely a bid to have a bit of the spotlight to itself, we’ll have to wait another two months to see what Huawei has up its sleeves.

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Essential Phone skipping Android Oreo 8.0, will soon receive 8.1

Essential Phone users have been longing for Android Oreo to arrive after it missed its 2017 target. Thankfully, the latest word from the company says that it aims to push the update out via OTA in a few weeks.

The Essential Phone PH-1 currently runs Android Nougat and, interestingly, it won’t be updated to Android Oreo 8.0 at all. it's skip straight to Android Oreo 8.1 instead. 

Essential claims that, through its long-running beta program, it discovered “several stability issues” in the core operating system update, Thus it will be putting the work in to issue the updated version to users.

It seems that the release of Oreo on the PH-1 was days away, but anxious fans might now be waiting closer to a month to get a taste. 

The good news is that if you’ve got a knack for tinkering and want to preview the latest beta build before it arrives, you can join the beta program here. But, be warned that not only does it require sideloading, it’s not going to be as stable as the build you’re currently running.

What does this say for Oreo 8.0?

Essential brought up that Oreo 8.0 had stability issues, though it’s not clear if these are issues specific to the PH-1, or if they also apply to any other phone that’s having the latest operating system ported.

While the former is an understandable position for a small team that’s trying to deliver on expectations, the latter could spell trouble for devices that are still waiting for the Oreo update, of which there are many. 

We previously haven’t heard of such instability problems with Google’s latest operating system, but we’ll be reaching out to manufacturers to see if this is widespread or an isolated case.

Via Android Police

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Unlocked Asus ZenFone AR with Tango and Daydream support goes $100 off to $499

No longer sold through Verizon with CDMA support, the Google Tango and Daydream-powered Asus ZenFone AR can still be purchased unlocked for GSM use starting at an all-time low price of $499.

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iOS apps on Mac computers are still likely to appear in 2018

Apple may be pushing back major iOS feature updates in favor of stability upgrades, but it’s still keen on getting iOS apps onto Mac computers this year, Axios reports.

First revealed in a Bloomberg report late last year, this is one of the few major additions to Apple's software lineup that is expected to sneak through this year, sources speaking to Axios anonymously have confirmed.

Apple’s planned quality-of-life upgrades to macOS in 2018 also include security boosts as well as speeding up the waking and unlocking of Mac systems, according to the report.

These stability and performance boosts through the next versions of macOS and iOS could make way for what might be one of the most important features to come to both operating systems in years.

Catching up with the competition

If Apple were to allow iOS apps to run on Mac systems, this would see the firm catch up to both Microsoft and Google in a big way. Before these reports, Apple had been known to draw firm lines between its two major OS products.

Microsoft launched Windows 10 – in July 2015 – to run nearly seamlessly between PC systems, tablets and phones from the start, while Google brought its Google Play Store and Android apps to Chromebooks early last year.

For the past few years, a clear trend has grown in breaking down the walls between phones, tablets and laptops or desktop computers, and it's one that Apple appears to have been watching to learn how it can one-up previous efforts. 

Whether that tactic will end up playing out well for Apple or working against it, not to mention exactly how this implementation will work without touchscreens on Mac computers, won’t likely be answered until WWDC 2018, Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, which will be held later this year.

  • These are the best Macs – ready and waiting for iOS apps
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Apple might be in trouble with US government agencies for iPhone performance throttling

The iPhone throttling scandal is far from over, as Apple still needs to answer questions from the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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