iOS 11 may finally allow group FaceTime video calls

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Ever since its introduction in 2010, Apple’s FaceTime has only supported video calls between two parties. That, however, might finally change this year. According to a yet-unconfirmed report from Israel, Apple is going to make group FaceTime calls a feature of iOS 11.

The new version of the mobile operating system will probably be unveiled, like clockwork, at the company’s annual WWDC conference in the summer. It should then go through the usual phase of developer-focused and public betas before being released for everyone in the fall, around the time the new iPhones launch.

The information regarding group FaceTime video calls in iOS 11 allegedly comes from “several people familiar with iOS development process”, which is apparently being done, in part, in Israel. The group calling feature will support up to five people at a time, and will be initialized through group iMessage conversations.

Source (in Hebrew) | Via

Android Pay to support PayPal cards and Visa Checkout, v1.13 APK teardown reveals

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Android Pay has recently been updated to version 1.13, and while this didn’t add many new changes to the payment app’s interface or otherwise, an APK teardown reveals more about the future capabilities of Android Pay. The mobile payment app will (at some time in the future) allow users to add their PayPal cards and the ability to support Visa Checkout.

Thanks to a deal previously established between PayPal and Discover, places where Discover is normally accepted would enable these terminals with PayPal support. A similar deal returned the favor which allows PayPal access to Discover’s tokens, which are needed to accept contactless payment services, i.e. Android Pay.

At the end of the day, what the latter means is that Android Pay would start supporting PayPal (and/or PayPal cards) thanks to Discover’s tokens which create virtual account numbers for transactions. The code string found in the APK teardown reads: “A virtual Discover account was used to make this purchase”. It doesn’t specifically mention ‘PayPal’, but this is implied.

Moving on to Visa Checkout, whose partnership was announced back in October alongside Masterpass, it allows Visa card holders to pay merchants without disclosing any credit card information. So basically like PayPal for Visa cards. The corresponding string of text that refers to Visa Checkout is the following: “This number was issued by %1$s. It’s used when you make purchases with Visa Checkout in Android Pay.”

As more services and banks are added to Android Pay and other various mobile payment services, we are slowly but surely moving past the need to use our own physical credit cards to make payments. Now it’s a matter of widely adopting new terminals to accept mobile payments.

Via

ZTE BA602 with quad-core CPU and 5.5-inch display spotted on TENAA

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A new ZTE smartphone has been spotted on the website of the Chinese telecommunication authority TENAA. Listed as BA602, the device is powered by an SoC with quad-core, 1.25GHz processor, and sports a 5.5-inch HD display.

RAM options include 1GB ,2GB, and 3GB, while storage options include 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB. In terms of camera, the phone features an 8MP rear unit and a 2MP front shooter. Measuring 153.3 × 77 × 8.6mm and weighing in at 168g, the BA602 runs Android 6.0 and packs in a 3,000mAh battery.

Color options include quicksand gold, galaxy silver, phantom gray, quiet blue, and black. No information on pricing and availability so far.

Source

HTC’s Android Wear smartwatch project might still be alive

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Rumors of HTC’s dip into the smartwatch realm go all the way back to 2015, when we first heard of a device codenamed “halfbeak”. After that initial wave of excitement, little was actually heard of the alleged wearable, until today. Out of the blue, a working HTC-branded unit was spotted in a rather extensive photo set on Weibo.

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HTC halfbeak

Even back in 2015, little information about halfbeak actually got out. The device was either in way too early stages of development of very well hidden. Most sources did, however, suggest a flat tire style display, with a resolution of 360×360 pixels and a development parthership with Under Armor.

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HTC halfbeak

It appears now, well over a year later, the cooperation has apparently endured, as one of the photos clearly shows the Under Armor logo on the back of the unit. As for the flat tire design – it is now replaced with a much more contemporary round panel. This does add some credibility to the theory that we are, indeed, looking at a recent development prototype, not something, someone dug up from storage.

HTC halfbeak HTC halfbeak HTC halfbeak HTC halfbeak
HTC halfbeak

Then again, the latter might be true as well. After all, it is also worth noting that the unit appears to be running on an older 1.x Android Wear version. This strikes us as somewhat of a red flag regarding authenticity, since Android Wear 2.0 should be officially released only a few days from now and thus be the development platform of choice for any upcoming Wear hardware.

We will just leave it at that and let you decide for yourself whether to wait on halfbeak at MWC 2017, or not.

Source (in Chinese) | Via

A pair of new smartphones from Huawei and Honor pass through TENAA

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Every time we report on Huawei and its Honor sub-brand, we tend to pay close attention to a given device’s affiliation to one or the other, since the two parties have made the case that they are quite independent, on more than one occasion. Perfectly aware of that point, we still can’t help but get a little bit confused when we come across leaks, like the two TENAA certification pages currently at hand.

Honor DUK-TL30 Honor DUK-TL30 Honor DUK-TL30 Honor DUK-TL30
Honor DUK-TL30

One is for a Honor-branded device, bearing the model number – “DUK-TL30”. Just like the Honor 6X, which was also recently announced and is now part of an interesting beta test program for fans, it too has a dual-camera setup. Unlike it, however, is sticks a lot closer to the Honor 8‘s original horizontal layout for the two lenses. The round fingerprint sensor on the back seems to be another similarity, but the rest of the aesthetics of the DUK-TL30 tend to differ quite a bit from the Honor 8.

But, genealogy aside, the DUK-TL30 is shaping up like a noticeably superior device. It offers a 5.7-inch QHD display and an undisclosed octa-core chipset. This will likely be the Kirin 960, which has already proven its worth in the Huawei Mate 9. Other specs, as detailed by TENAA, include 6GB of RAM, 128GB of expandable storage and a 12MP, plus 2MP camera setup. A 3,900 mAh battery is keeping the light on and the unit will likely boot Android 7 Nougat. LTE and Dual-SIM support are also part of the mix and the unit itself measures 157 x 77.5 x 6.97mm and weighs in at 184 grams.

Huawei WAS-AL00 Huawei WAS-AL00 Huawei WAS-AL00 Huawei WAS-AL00
Huawei WAS-AL00

Moving on to Huawei’s main brand, we find another TENAA filing. This time it is for the “WAS-AL00”. The confusion here stems from the fact that even though the WAS-AL00 appears to be a more modest offer, with only a single main camera, it does look suspiciously similar to the aforementioned Honor 8 in terms of aesthetics. Its 146.5 x 72 x 7.2 mm, 146 gram body seems to have pretty much identical curves and buttons, with only the square design of the fingerprint reader really sticking out as a stylistic difference.

As far as specs go, TENAA lists a 5.2-inch, 1080p display and an undisclosed octa-core chipset, yet again. Memory is set at 4GB and there is 64GB of expandable storage to go along with that. In the camera department there is a 12MP shooter on the back and 8MP one on the front. Power comes courtesy of a 2,900 mAh battery and the device boots Android Nougat, as well.

Source 1 (in Chinese) | Source 2 (in Chinese) | Via 1 | Via 2