This Week in Tech 631: This One’s for Jerry

Apple will release the new iPhones on Tuesday. Thanks to leaks, we already know most of the details – does this spoil Apple’s big day? Red Sox busted for using Apple Watch to steal signals from the Yankees. Moto X4 will be an Android One phone. Google may buy HTC. Equifax leaks 143 million records, wait more than a month to tell anyone. Facebook finally admits that Russians bought $100,000 worth of election ads. Solaris employees laid off from Oracle. Farewell, Jerry Pournelle.

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This Week in Tech 611: Bezel Come Back

At the F8 Developer Conference, Facebook shows off its hot new augmented reality technology – which looks a whole lot like Snapchat. Apple is secretly working on non-invasive blood sugar detection, which could be a boon to millions of diabetics. Apple also wants to save the Earth by using 100% recycled materials in its products, covering its headquarters in solar panels, and manufacturing its own sweat. Wait, what? Google, which has made billions in ad revenue, is working on an ad blocker. The Samsung Galaxy S8 came out this week and has yet to explode. Bixby, Samsung’s voice assistant, seems to be fizzling. According to Qualcomm, the first Windows PC using an ARM chip could be out later this year. in completely unrelated news, Intel has canceled the Intel Developer Forum. HTC’s newest phone, codenamed Ocean, will have a squeezable frame and a questionable logo. Steve Ballmer’s new site makes government spending more accessible. Another bad week for Uber. And McDonald’s new uniforms highlight the techno-dystopia we all live in.

HTC says it’s ‘working closely’ with Microsoft on a Windows 10 phone

While many regional manufacturers have launched their first Windows Phones in recent months, it’s been a while since a major brand with a worldwide presence unveiled a new device running Microsoft’s mobile OS.

But it seems that HTC may be among the first global brands to offer a Windows 10 phone when the OS finally launches this summer.

At the launch of the premium HTC One M9+ in India today, Chia-Lin Chang (the company’s Chief Financial Officer and President of Global Sales) was asked if a Windows version of the handset might be on the way. Such a device would follow in the footsteps of the HTC One M8 for Windows, which the firm recently confirmed will be upgraded to Windows 10.

Chang apparently did not confirm or deny that a ‘One M9+ for Windows’ might eventually be released, but according to Windows Central, he did say that the company is ‘working closely’ with Microsoft on a Windows 10 device.

He also didn’t specify whether it will be a high-end flagship-class phone, saying instead: “We’ll see how the new version of the Windows operating system shapes up and where it fits in the HTC lineup.”

He added that HTC will share more details on its new Windows 10 handset towards the end of this quarter, or in early Q3, which suggests that the device may be unveiled sometime before the end of August.

Another major manufacturer that’s planning to launch Windows 10 phones is Lenovo. Microsoft confirmed that Lenovo’s first handset running its next-generation OS will go on sale this summer.

via HTC says it’s ‘working closely’ with Microsoft on a Windows 10 phone.

HTC One review: It’s now or never again

It’s been a hard year for HTC. The Taiwan-based phone manufacturer had a great beginning in the Android world, but it’s been struggling to keep up appearances and convince the public to buy its handsets. Some analysts believe that the HTC brand is in trouble and that the company’s struggles stem partly from the public not really recognizing it as the maker of the Android handset to buy. Not anymore, at least.

Now that Samsung is in the top spot, HTC has a lot of ground to make up. The company’s CEO, Peter Chou, famously said that he will step down if the One doesn’t succeed, but the phone hasn’t exactly had the best start: it has suffered manufacturing snafus caused by a component shortage, which came about partly because HTC is no longer considered a “tier-one customer” in manufacturing land. But in spite of branding and supply chain problems, the HTC One is still a very solid Android handset.

Body, build, and display

Specs at a glance: HTC One

Screen 1920×1080 4.7-inch (468 ppi) Super LCD 3 with RGB Matrix

OS Android 4.1.2 with Sense 5

CPU Quad-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600

RAM 2GB

GPU Qualcomm Adreno 320

Storage 16 or 32 GB NAND flash

Networking 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, wireless HDMI

Ports Micro-USB, headphones

Camera 4MP rear camera with “UltraPixel” image sensor, 2.1MP front camera

Size 5.41″ × 2.69″ × 0.37″ (137.4 × 68.2 × 9.3 mm)

Weight 5.0 oz. (143 g)

Battery 2300 mAh

Starting price $99 at Sprint, $199.99 at AT&T, $99.99 at T-Mobile

Sensor Accelerometer, gyroscope, digital compass, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor

Other perks Infrared

At 5.41 × 2.69 × 0.37 inches, the HTC One is only a bit bigger than the Samsung Galaxy S 4. Its smooth aluminum backside somewhat resembles the finish on Apple’s MacBook Pro, and it features white accents around the edges, with a few stripes continuing on the back and ending abruptly at the camera lens. It’s an interesting design, one that HTC says is made through “zero-gap” construction, a term that refers to the phone being carved out of a piece of aluminum (you’ll find an image of the chassis design in our gallery below).

The One feels sturdy and well-built—more so than any of the plastic body phones I’ve used before. It’s also a testament to HTC’s marketing strategy: rather than dial it back to cut on costs, HTC has gone full-force by showing that its design capabilities mirror that of top-tier handset makers like Apple. What we have here is a fashionable and sturdy device; its aluminum chassis and matte white trim makes it look unlike any other Android handset on the market right now.

Inside, the HTC One features a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32 or 64 gigabytes of storage. Unfortunately, there is no microSD expansion slot, nor is there a removable backing. The micro-SIM slot sits on the left-hand side of the phone, with the volume rocker and power button on the right and top sides of the device, respectively. There is also a micro-USB slot on the bottom, though it’s placed on the right side rather than in the middle as it is on most other handsets. One benefit to this minor design decision is that you can actually use the phone to type horizontally while it’s charging without bumping the cord.

Full Story: HTC One review: It’s now or never again | Ars Technica.

HTC First review: Don’t call it the Facebook phone

Last week at Facebook headquarters, CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg officially announced Facebook Home, a small suite of applications that users can install on their Android devices to essentially “Facebook-ize” their phones. The event came after rumors that the social networking giant was finally pulling the trigger on an official handset. Facebook didn’t announce a Facebook phone, but it did reveal a partnership with HTC to produce a mid-range handset that would come pre-installed with Facebook Home.

Specs at a glance: HTC First

Screen 1280×720 4.3-inch (341 ppi) glass display

OS Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean

CPU Dual-core 1.4GHZ Qualcomm Snapdragon 400

RAM 1GB

GPU Qualcomm Adreno 305

Storage 16GB, no expansion slot

Networking 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC

Ports Micro-USB, headphones

Camera 5.0MP rear camera, 1.6MP front camera

Size 4.96″ × 2.56″ × 0.35″

Weight 4.37 oz

Battery 2,000 mAh

Starting price $99 with a two-year contract.

Sensor Ambient light, GPS

Other perks Facebook Home

Facebook intended to introduce a new way to make the smartphone experience “people-centric.” Zuckerberg made the case that most mobile operating systems keep social interaction sequestered to several specific applications, forcing them to exist independent of each other and limiting them to particular lanes. But with an app like Facebook Home installed, the social network becomes the core of the mobile operating system. Notifications and status updates from friends or family become a priority rather than a grid of icons screaming for attention with loud, red-numbered badges.

To be clear, the HTC First is a nice looking phone, but it’s not a “Facebook phone.” At its core, the First is an Android phone with a Facebook overlay. Once Facebook Home is officially released on April 12 in the Google Play store, five supported devices will all have the same Facebook Home functionality. The HTC First is its own product, which will also arrive at AT&T on April 12, but we’re going to review both the application and the handset as one entity because they’re sold as a package. Think of it as getting two reviews for the price of one.

HTC First

Full Story: HTC First review: Don’t call it the Facebook phone | Ars Technica.