Saturday, 25 March 2017

Hangouts, getting closer to the end

Hangouts, getting closer to the end

The history of Google with instant messaging on mobile platforms has always been somewhat erratic. At the time he failed to take the opportunity to have his Talk application installed on all the Android that were sold to dominate the market since then it has been changing course without being able to prevail despite the advantages that counts.

Without going further, a dominant position in the sale of operating systems served to Microsoft to impose its web browser and that had to intervene the authorities to foment the competition in that scope. But Google did not achieve the same with Android, much less. The WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Line, Telegram and a long etcetera have eaten the ground to apps like Hangouts . And we are facing the penultimate attempt to lead this market , perhaps somewhat late.

Hangouts, the bet that went wrong
When Google saw that its Talk app had no traction decided to make a drastic change . It introduced a new application, Hangouts, and provided very interesting functions such as calls and video calls, when other applications on the market did not have such functionality. However that the application was linked to the mail account and not to the phone was an impediment to its use, although it was installed as standard on almost all Android terminals in the West.

To promote its use, Google went one step further by integrating SMS into that application. This was quite chaotic, often preventing you from knowing if you were talking by SMS or online with the caller. A few updates fixed this problem, and the interface little informative, but it seems that was not enough. In 2016 the SMS integration became voluntary on the part of the user, and Google launched a specific application for short messages, Messenger, which also supported RCS (the operators WhatsApp).

However the highlight was that in the last Google I / O launched two new communications applications : Allo, for messaging, and Duo, for video calls. That these two functions are separated into two is quite strange and denotes that perhaps these projects were not coordinated correctly. In fact there are rumors that they will be integrated in the future.

Allo and Duo, future of Google messaging?
The truth is that the release of Allo and Duo have been quite disappointing . On the one hand they have not been properly promoted: they do not install by default on new Android or appear prominent in Google Play, or Google has made a powerful advertising campaign (such as did with the PC Chrome browser).

But now it seems that changes are beginning to take place. Allo and Duo (either separately or integrated) are the future of Google messaging. Hangouts has the counting days . Although when the new Google applications were introduced, it was said that Hangouts would still exist. We have already seen two very important things this week: on the one hand, in the corporate part (G Suite) Hangouts becomes two applications : Hangout Meet (for Video conferencing) and Hangouts Chat (for messaging, but Slack style); And on the other hand Hangouts will lose the possibility of managing the SMS.

That is, it looks like Google is dismantling what it created with Hangouts. It maintains it, yes, but focusing on the corporate market. And for private users, for Android users are Allo and Duo. Hangouts end is near.

Will they join in a single Allo and Duo application? Although the rumors indicate that yes I have my doubts. That Google has now separated Hangouts in two, like Allo and Duo, indicates that for some reason Google prefer separate applications.

But what is clear is that we are facing a major change in Google's messaging strategy, just like when they replaced Talk by Hangouts. The difference is that the market is now much more mature and it is difficult to reach the critical mass of users to make a difference.

Samsung will completely disable Note 7 load this month

Last act for the tragedy Note 7. After fighting for months to recover all the copies of its explosive phone that have been scattered in nature, Samsung will put an end to this story, finally deploying globally Day that will prevent the mobile from loading.

At the end of last year, Samsung had indicated that a fatal update would arrive for the US Note 7, preventing any recharging of the device. If some operators have been quick in deploying this update, not all korean philettes have yet been killed. This inattention should be corrected before the end of the month. 

Indeed, Samsung has assured that all Note 7 should see the update arrive before the end of March. A date not quite chosen by chance, since the presentation of the Galaxy S8 should take place on March 29th. No doubt that Samsung does not want the demonstration of its new spearhead to be tainted by new concerns with the Note.  This will not prevent the hardest to avoid updating,

Poll: How do you use your convertible notebook?

 Poll: How do you use your convertible notebook?

The "convertible" notebook is now a very common format, popularized by products such as HP Specter x360 or Lenovo Yoga . Increasingly, manufacturers are not offering at least one such reference to their catalog. We wanted to know more about your use of these products.
PC Laptops.jpg From top to bottom and from left to right: mode "support, mode" laptop "and mode" tent.

Because yes, if you have made the choice of a "convertible" notebook , it is most certainly that you are attracted by its modularity and its possibilities of use "100% tactile". However, what are your main habits? Is this modularity really an argument for you? Could you do without the touch on a notebook , now that you have tasted it? Through the questions below, we try to see more clearly in order to better understand your uses in the matter, and to adapt our future tests of laptops based on.

Fossil unveils a plethora of watches connected to Baselworld 2017

Fossil unveils a plethora of watches connected to Baselworld 2017

Fossil took advantage of the Swiss watchmaking exhibition Baselworld to present new watches connected. Whether they have a touchscreen or just connected features, these innovations are spread across nearly fifteen brands, for 300 models in the end.

Last year, the watch specialist Fossil introduced his Q Marshal and Q Wander, under Android Wear. In 2017, the company continues its momentum and offers at the Basel show no less than 300 declensions of watches connected, for 14 brands. The first group is made up of hybrid watches, equipped with a classic dial and activity sensors, as well as basic notification systems. The boxes of these watches carry programmable keys giving quick access to predefined uses. 

Among these hybrid watches designed by Fossil, there are big fashion names like DKNY, Emporio Armani, Diesel or even Marc Jacobs. We also find Misfit, already accustomed to connected objects, including trackers, Activity such as Ray or Shine 2. All these brands will offer ranges of cases and bracelets, turned towards the luxury for the most part.

A second set includes watches connected to Amoled touch screens. There are the Diesel, Emporio Armani, Michael Kors, Misfit and Fossil brands. All these new digital tocantes enjoy a SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 and run Android Wear 2.0. They are therefore compatible with iOS and Android. The Misfit watch, baptized Vapor, was unveiled a few months ago at the CES in Las Vegas. 

Fossil does not extend to the prices of these different watches connected. Their respective releases will run from summer to autumn 2017, without much more precision.

Poll: your photo / video habits with your smartphone

Poll: your photo / video habits with your smartphone

This will not have escaped you: photography was the star of the last edition of the MWC. Dual modules, periscopic zoom, black and white, slowed down to 1000 frames per second, no doubt, smartphones take more and more seriously the shooting, whether in still image or video. The opportunity for us, now that the madness of the show has passed, to ask you about your photographic habits on the smartphone and what you expect in the future.

Since life is rather well done (sometimes, but not always), what better way as an aperitif than the recent study conducted by DxO among 1003 French people 18 years and over soberly titled " the French and the photo to the" Era of the smartphone "? Photography on the smartphone is so much in the mores that today only 30% of the respondents use only or mainly a camera. The subjects of predilection are, for one person in two, what " inspires them and which they find beautiful " and, for 36%, the close ones (friends and family). This enthusiasm comes mainly from practicality (always on oneself, for 70%), simplicity (44%) and connectivity (41%). In addition, Almost one Frenchman in two shares his shots after the shooting (MMS, emails, social networks, etc.) and 76% store them on their computer! On the other hand, only 26% print them, a fairly low percentage that is explained by the quality of image often insufficient to be totally satisfactory. This quality deficit causes 41% of respondents to return to a real AFN when the conditions become difficult, proof that there is still much work to be done on the side of the manufacturers.

Now, it's your turn to play ! Take a screen and a mouse (or a smartphone, or even a tablet, it works) and sit comfortably. We put together a survey of 21 questions, divided into three parts: your everyday use of the smartphone, The technical points you like (or not) and your expectations for smartphones of the future (at least from the point of view of photography). The votes are open until Sunday 26 March, we will then gradually detail the results together. See you soon !