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Chinese tech brands come together for a combined file transfer

Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo have come together to create a new wireless file transfer that’s similar to Apple’s AirDrop. The new file transfer protocol will work on the respective company’s devices: Oppo’s ColorOS, Xiaomi’s MIUI, and Vivo’s FuntouchOS. All of these devices have an android OS and the new system will be a link between them all.

Bluetooth is the communicating medium that will pair the devices. According to a WeChat post by Xiaomi, the file transfer offers a speed of up to 20MB/s. The post also suggests the new protocol uses Wi-Fi on the backend, just like AirDrop. Interested smartphone manufacturers are also welcome to join the new protocol, the Xiaomi post said.

The idea proposed by the Chinese smartphone makers for such a system isn’t the first time. Earlier, Google has attempted to launch a similar file transfer for Android devices like the Android Beam. The upcoming Android Q won’t have the Beam service however. Instead, Google has the answer with its Files app (previously called as Files Go). Files also works with Bluetooth pairing and boasts of a really fast file transfer. For now, the Chinese seem to be making a solution for themselves.

Huawei makes a comeback with HarmonyOS

A few months back, Google pulled out its Android license for Huawei citing security concerns declared by the Trump administration. However, there were numerous rumors about Huawei developing its operating system to stand independently from Google. And here it is! Huawei has announced HarmonyOS: the new operating system for the Chinese tech maker. HarmonyOS will be known as Hongmeng in its homeland China.

According to Huawei, the new operating system is microkernel-based. This means it can be applied to a wide range of devices like smartphones, wearables, vehicular operating systems, smart speakers, and other IoT devices. With HarmonyOS, Huawei says you can have a connected ecosystem across various devices. In order to increase its adoption, Huawei has released the operating system in an open-source platform available worldwide.

On a futuristic note, Huawei will be launching HarmonyOS on something termed as “smart screen products” later this year. Over the span of next three years, Huawei will expand to other wearable devices. Huawei also said that HarmonyOS will make its debut Honor Smart Screen, but hasn’t defined what a smart screen is yet! We’ll soon be hearing more from Huawei about its new products introduced with the in-house OS.

Huawei comes up with a mapping tech to challenge Google

According to a Chinese daily, Huawei is creating its own mapping service as a challenge to Google Maps. However, as ‘challenging’ as it seems, the idea that Huawei has in mind is different. The new mapping service is intended for software developers to create their apps with navigation.

Suppose you’re building a ride-hailing service app, you can simply use Huawei’s mapping service instead of building yours from scratch. Huawei terms the service as Map Kit and intends to offer a street navigation system for apps as well as updated traffic conditions. Huawei also aims to create an augmented-reality mapping in the Map Kit.

Although it isn’t clear what an “augmented-reality mapping” really means, Huawei is already working on establishing the Map Kit soon. For the data about the streets, Huawei is tapping into local mapping services to get its navigation services. Huawei is also reportedly teaming up with Yandex, a Russian internet service provider. Yandex is known for its mapping services globally.

In addition, Huawei is also partnering with Booking Holdings. However, Booking currently relies on Google Maps for its online travel services. This means that Booking might be one of the first customers of the Map Kit, rather than a partner.

Smarter grammar and spell checks come to Gmail G Suite

We’ve all heard of Grammarly, the editing service that helps in correcting your email, article, etc. Now, Google is set out to bring an improved spell check and grammar suggestions to Gmail, similar to what Grammarly provides. Powered by machine learning capabilities, the new editing aid will soon come to G Suite users with different suggestions for their writing.

Currently, Gmail autocorrects “common spelling mistakes”. With autocorrect, you don’t need to go back and correct the word or take any extra steps. Grammatical suggestions were given with the earlier version. Now with an enhanced software, users will have a more detailed suggestion as they type their emails.

The update means you longer have to manually check for spellings. The machine learning enhanced Gmail will analyze your email for spellings and grammar, says Google. Instead, red lines appear under misspellings and blue lines will be under what Gmail perceives to be grammatical errors.

” You’ll now see inline spelling and contextual grammar suggestions in your draft emails as you type. If you’ve made a grammar mistake, a squiggly blue line will appear under the phrase as you write it. You can choose to accept the suggestion by clicking it. When an auto-correction takes place, we’ll temporarily underline the corrected change so you can easily identify and undo the correction if you’d like,” Google said in a release.

Telegram updates to reduce your notification burden

Telegram recently updated several features in its software base which will reduce the burden on your phone with notifications. Firstly, Telegram has introduced a silent messaging feature. This means that the person receiving the message won’t be hearing the notification sound.

In the silent feature, the messages will continue to appear in the notification bubble, regardless. The receiver won’t be disturbed repeatedly with the notification sound. The recipient also has the option to select ‘do not disturb’ in his settings that will again make no sound when a message reaches him. This option is quite helpful when you’re sending a low priority text to a person. All you need to do long press on the send button to find the option of “send without sound”.

Apart from this, you’ll also find a ‘Slow Mode’ for group chats. If a group admin selects the option of slow mode, he will be restricting the number of messages the participants can send in the group. For instance, the admin can restrict a person to send about one text message with a gap of 30 seconds or extend it to an hour. Telegram is widely popular for business as well where more than a hundred thousand participants can be in a group. This feature is quite useful then.

You can find the latest software update on the App Store or Google Play Store.