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Mar 16, 2014

Xiaomi’s Tablet Said to Be Launching Later Today

As I told you before, Xiaomi has been expected to launch its first tablet product for months now. And since its tablet optimized MIUI interface is already a reality awaiting to be installed by Nexus 7 2013 users, it could only make sense, the slate per-se would see the light of day soon.

As Gizchina reports, the smartphone maker is gearing up to roll out the Xiaomi tablet in Beijing later today, alongside a 5.5-inch phablet called Xiaomi Hongmi. In anticipation of the launch, a couple of new pictures showcasing the slate have been leaked online. Granted, they aren’t particularly clear, but one can make an idea about what’s coming our way, soon. According to the latest information, the tablet will have a 9.7-inch screen with a pretty unimpressive resolution of 1280 x 720 pixel resolution and draw power from a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.6GHz combined with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.

Other highlights of the slate are promised to be an 8MP camera on the back and 1.5MP in front. On top of that, the Xiaomi slate should have 3G, voice calling capabilities and the usual connectivity radio feat. Keep an eye out later today for the new tablet.

Xiaomi has been said to be launching its tablet today
Image credits to GizChina

Xiaomi has been said to be launching its tablet today
Image credits to Tablet-News

iOS 8 Removes Game Center, Enhances Notification Center

The latest iOS 8 leak is out by means of a list containing some of the refinements and tweaks planned by Apple for the next major revision of its mobile operating system. Focus areas include Notification Center, inter-app communication, Voice Memos, Messages, Game Center, and CarPlay.

9to5mac boasts a list “provided by sources” of just “some” of the retouches Apple is “considering” for some of the apps and services in the upcoming iOS 8. Notification Center is one of the major elements Apple is looking into for some imminent changes. The sources said the translucent drop-down menu for managing alerts “may be simplified,” and that Apple is considering reducing some views from the panel to only include “Today” and “Notifications.” Apparently there’s a bit of uncertainty regarding the inclusion of these tweaks in the first builds of iOS 8. Apple is planning to implement an “XPC” service to enable apps to communicate better with one another and share data: “For example, a future photo editing application could have the ability to push the edited content for upload via the Instagram or Facebook apps.” The feature was initially planned for iOS 7, but somehow it never made it inside the OS. Apple could just as well delay it again, the sources said. The Voice Memos app will be enhanced so that its controls become more visible. The confusing interface will be tweaked so that people can understand better what buttons to tap to perform a certain action.

Game Center will be removed as an individual app, but not as a service. Gamers will sill be able to access the interface in games that are made for Game Center. CarPlay will be usable both with a Lightning cable and over WiFi when iOS 8 debuts. The leak also includes information about the general functionality of the operating system, and how Apple plans to enhance its performance and run faster than iOS 7. “In addition to the in-app tweaks, Apple has been working to speed up iOS 8 in comparison to iOS 7. Applications are said to launch more quickly, close more quickly, and overall system navigation is said to feel much smoother and more stable. Apple sped up animations and improved stability in the recent release of iOS 7.1, but the enhancements in iOS 8 are said to go a bit further.”

A lot of changes are expected to go down before Apple unveils iOS 8 at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference this summer. iOS 8 is also likely to drop support for some old-generation hardware, like the iPhone 4.

Notification Center in iOS 7
Image credits to TechCrunch

WhatsApp VOIP Feature Leaked, Shows Identical iOS 7 Design

WhatsApp is slated to become a phone-calling app thanks to the upcoming addition of a VOIP (Voice Over IP) feature that will enable customers to conduct phone calls over WiFi and 3G without being taxed by their operator (except for the data costs).

A couple of leaked screenshots from iPhoneItalia show that WhatsApp is getting a phone interface that looks strikingly similar to Apple’s own Phone app in iOS 7. In fact, in some areas the graphics are identical. For example, the rounded End-Call button is exactly the same in iOS 7.1. Acquired by Facebook for $19 billion (€13.66 billion), WhatsApp is slated to become a direct competitor of FaceTime Audio, Viber, and other VOIP clients currently used on iOS today. It wouldn’t be too surprising to hear that WhatsApp is moving into desktop territory soon.

Facebook stands to deal a heavy blow to phone operators worldwide as VOIP solutions can be used over WiFi, completely avoiding carrier fees. Even when used on cellular data VOIP apps rack up smaller bills than regular calling through the carrier’s network. The new update will also put more focus on photo messaging with the addition of  camera icon on the tool bar just above the keyboard.

WhatsApp screenshots
Image credits to iPhoneItalia

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