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Long live the headphone jack!

As more and more big names in the smartphone market ditch the headphone jack, it appears that Samsung isn't getting on that train yet as it is being rumored that the Galaxy S9 will be featuring a 3.5mm headphone jack. Is this enough to get you to switch to Samsung? Maybe not, but it sure beats having to buy new headphones or using an adaptor. CNET has the details.

Notice anything interesting about this alleged render of the Samsung Galaxy S9? 

No, I'm not talking about that weird block underneath the phone, or the return of the Bixby button. (Drat?) I'm talking about the perfectly round hole in the bottom-left corner. 

It's a headphone jack. A headphone jack on the Galaxy S9. Our precious 3.5mm port ain't dead yet, folks! 

Nokia sold 4.4 million smartphones in Q4

Nokia relaunched their smartphone brand and their partner HMC Global is now producing their devices for them and apparently it's working out better than most expected. In Q4, Nokia sold 4.4 million smartphones and claimed the #11 spot on the smartphones sales charts. Them being in the #11 spot puts them ahead of other big names like Asus, Lenovo, Google, Sony, HTC, and OnePlus. The sales seem to be selling well overseas and isn't gaining much in North America, but thanks to some strong sales early on we could see them making a push into North America shortly. TechRadar has the story.

The 4.4 million figure puts Nokia at the 11th position in the list of companies with highest market share. This also means that Nokia sold more phones in the last quarter than a lot of other popular brands. Some of the companies that sold lesser smartphones that Nokia are — Google, HTC, Sony, Alcatel, Lenovo, OnePlus, Gionee, Meizu, Coolpad and Asus.

Snapchat's redesign isn't so popular

Snapchat just completed their biggest redesign since it launched in 2011. It unfortunately isn't all roses and sunshine as a "fake" tweet that said if it was retweeted 1.3 million times they'd revert back to the old design. Long story short, that fake tweet has become the 6th most retweeted tweet ever. 

It will be interesting to see if Snapchat caves or if the people that are upset actually leave. History shows that most likely people will accept the change and we won't hear about this in another week or so, but maybe Snapchat users are different?

TheDailyBeast has the story.

Last week Snapchat rolled out its biggest redesign since the app launched in 2011.

The company split the app into two sections, consolidating friend content on the left side, media content on the right, and installing a slew of other design changes.

Snapchat’s massive teen userbase is outraged at the update, and already desperately trying to get the old version back. 

Amazon to launch delivery service

I think we all saw this coming, but Amazon is said to be launching their own delivery service to compete with UPS and FedEx. Not surprisingly, Amazon ships a ton of packages and has enough items going out on a daily basis to setup their own service in larger volume areas. Not that it's that bold of a prediction, but I think we'll see more Amazon trucks on the road in the next year.

TechCrunch has the story.

Amazon is gearing up to compete directly with UPS and FedEx, according to a new Wall Street Journal report. The so-called “Shipping with Amazon” program will be an end-to-end shipping solution, with pickups from businesses and shipments made to consumers, per the report.

The timeframe for rollout is soon, too: Amazon is said to be readying the service for its first launch in LA in the “coming weeks,” starting, not surprisingly, with companies that sell stuff via its website. After its initial launch in LA, Amazon will look to expand it out to other cities, possibly as soon as later this year, the WSJ says.

Google Working on Texting from Browser

Google is stepping up their game with Android Messages and will soon allow you to pair your phone with your PC and then use your PC to send actual SMS's. This integration is what HP rocked with the Elite X3 Windows Phone and is something that other companies lack. Yes, there are 3rd party applications that do something similiar, but I've tried many of them and nothing worked as good as the Windows solution. Still, this is a step in the right direction. Also coming in Android Messages is the ability to send payments directly using Google Pay - or something similiar. 

All told, Google appears to be transforming Android Messages into an Allo-like app, except for mobile SMS texts instead of web-based ones. It could also be monetizing it to a degree via Google Pay. Considering the power it yields over the Android smartphone ecosystem, that could amount to a lot of dollars. Take all the changes with some salt, though, because APKs don't necessarily mean features are set in stone, and some of the aforementioned features are still half-baked.

Source: Engadget

Weekly Tech Update #423 - Who's the Biggest Loser?

We have just posted up Episode #423 of Weekly Tech Update! In this episode we will be discussing the winners and losers of the tech industry. Disney loses money on Hulu, GoPro lost a bunch of money, Bitcoin is losing money and of course Twitter loses money - Wait, no, no, they actually made money. We have those stories and more at the links below...

WTU

Download Episode #423
Show Notes
Subscribe to the feed.
Subscribe in iTunes!
Get it on Google Play!

Twitter made a profit

This is not a typo, Twitter made a profit!

After 12 years, a profit of $91 million dollars was made. Good news right? Well as an investor you are probably pretty happy, although they also revealed that they'd lost a million users in the US (which isn't good).

Regardless, they didn't lose money so maybe those million users they lost were just dragging them down! The Verge has more on this story.

At nearly 12 years old, and after four years as a public company, Twitter has finally had a profitable quarter. The company said today that it made $91 million during the fourth quarter of 2017, whereas it lost $167 million this time in 2016. Twitter advised investors late last year that it was closing in on its first profitable quarter in large part by cutting costs.

Profitability isn’t the only good news for Twitter this quarter: its revenue also started growing again, rising to $732 million, up 2 percent from $717 million this time in 2016. During the rest of 2017, revenues had declined by 4 to 8 percent year over year. It’s not entirely clear what changed to reverse that, but it’s possible that advertisers were wary to spend money on the platform amid major harassment issues that Twitter began to address in a more serious way as the year went on.

Microsoft Wants to Pay You to Switch to OneDrive

If you've got Office 365 and are paying for cloud storage from Dropbox or Google Drive can switch to OneDrive for Business and Microsoft will foot the bill until your current subscription on the competitive service runs out. Microsoft even gives you tools to quickly and easily migrate your data to their cloud. If you use Office for your business this is a great offer to help see how convenient it is if everything works together easily.

We are making it easier for new customers to make the switch by offering free OneDrive for Business for the remaining term of their existing contract with Box, Dropbox, or Google. This offer is valid starting February 6, 2018 through June 30, 2018 for organizations that are not currently OneDrive for Business or Office 365 customers and who make a minimum 500 user commitment.

Source: Office Blog

Bitcoin Prices Dropped

There have been more than a few of us that saw Bitcoin's price drop coming. It was surprising that it rose so high, but the last few months have seen the price double and now it's down to less than half of the peak price. It's rallied a bit, but it's heading down once again. If you bought high and expected it go higher, you'll be very sad to hear that it closed on Tuesday down below $7,500 USD. No word on how low it will go, but I think the bottom hasn't dropped out if it just yet.

Coindesk

Source: Coindesk

Apple Watch Clone has Mega Battery Life

Most Smart Watches end up in a drawer due to poor battery life. If you forget to charge it daily it's a useless piece of technology. There have been a few devices that offer better battery life, but it usually comes a big loss of functionality and performance. Amazfit's Bip looks like an Apple Watch and it comes with 30 days of on a single charge, or better yet, 45 days with "minimal" notifications. For the price of $99, it's an incredible deal.

The Bip is not a hybrid watch or a stripped down device, either: it has a 1.28-inch touchscreen display, an optical heart rate sensor, true GPS for location tracking, a 3-axis accelerometer, IP68-rated water resistance, and notification support from both Android and iOS devices. The company says that the watch can reach 30 days on a single charge, and up to 45 days with “minimal notifications.”

Source: TheVerge

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