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Google Covid-19 Exposure Notification Tech in our phones: Here’s Everything we know so far

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Google Covid-19 Exposure Notification Tech in our phones: Here's Everything we know so far 1

Google and Apple have both rolled out the Exposure Notification feature for Android phones and the iPhone to Nigerians.

It might be the very first day of the month but the world of tech doesn’t do thrillers only blockbusters right? HAHAHA

So, shout out to every avid Naijatechguy reader and returning visitor out there. We go again!

Now this is it…

Remember those ‘chip implant’ rumours? Yeah it’s happening; Maybe the conspiracy theorist were right anyways right?

Google Covid-19 Exposure Notification Tech in our phones: Here's Everything we know so far 2

Hol’up hol’up just a second for a proper explanation.

If you check your iPhone privacy settings under “Health” you will see something called “COVID-19 exposure logging”. Similarly, if you check privacy settings for Google on your Android phone, you will see something similar.

Both Google and Apple have now updated their phones and software with an inbuilt exposure notification tool that can be used to track Covid-19 patients, and their contacts, somewhat similar to how India’s Aarogya Setu app and the UK NHS app does.

Although, the software for the iPhone and Android phones were updated last week to include this tool, it has not stopped the conspiracy theorist from taking another dimension to what they percieve to be an imminent ‘New World Order’

Different claims have been making rounds in this part of the world that this is a huge security risk and that Google and Apple will now work with NCDC to now track every Nigerian with a smartphone.

However this is not accurate on its entirety and will not be very much useful to you. Here’s a better explanation:

How Google and Apple Covid-19 Exposure Notification Feature Works

Google and Apple Covid-19 Exposure Notification feature explained

  • The Apple iPhones and Android phones have received the “Exposure Notification” API that Apple and Google had been developing for quite some time. However, it doesn’t track your locations and other details until you allow it to do so.
  • When you try turning on the Exposure Notification toggle on your Apple iPhone, the message below the toggle tells you that you cannot turn on the Exposure Logging without installing an authorized app that can send Exposure Notifications.

So contrary to the claims, unless you consent to download a compatible designated tracking app, the “tracker installed” is as good as nothing.

This is because the Google-Apple tool is an API that can be used only by an authorized app. This app, say Google and Apple, can be made only by a government or a government-authorized agency. Also, there is only one such app allowed by Google and Apple per country.

There could be limitations…how about user privacy?

Globally many governments have either made or are making contact tracking apps to keep a check on coronavirus infections. If you download any of these apps, the phone will then communicate with other phones for contact tracing.

Google exposure notification effectiveness and user privacy safeguard

But two main differences between an app based on Google-Apple API and any other app is going to be related to not just effectiveness but also user privacy.

Whilst the UK NHS contact tracing app, for example, requires information such as the location of users for contact tracing to work effectively, the Exposure Notifications, on the other hand, is strictly against collecting the GPS information because the APIs for this feature are designed to collect anonymous data.

Google and Apple seem to prioritize user privacy. We’ve had our butt stuck to the public or far too long though.

For example communication between phones with Exposure Notification feature turned on happens using random IDs through Bluetooth. The random IDS your device collects are stored in an exposure log for 14 days, the app then notifies you if you come in contact with any COVID-infected person.

  • If a person is infected with COVID-19, he or she can share their device’s random IDs with the authorized app so it can notify the other users who have come in their contact. All this would be done without revealing the identity of the infected person.

In India, the government has its own app Aarogya Setu, which too is used for contact tracing. Currently, the Setu app is not compatible with the Google-Apple API for contact tracing and hence cannot use the feature now available in smartphones.

However, as many as 23 countries have shown their interest in the tech. In fact, countries such as Switzerland and Italy have already begun testing the APIs for Covid-19 Exposure Notifications feature for their own contact tracing apps.

Tis’ is it…

The bottom line is this, the exposure notification feature in your smartphones won’t work until the government (under NCDC) or a legalized firm makes an app that can use it.

Also, whether you believe the Coronavirus pandemic to be a hoax or not, the day to day happenings will surely give you second thoughts and a definite rethink.

Stay Safe.

android

Mediatek unveils Helio G95 gaming Processor for budget smartphones, could debut on Tecno Camon 16 or Realme 7

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Mediatek unveils Helio G95 gaming Processor for budget smartphones, could debut on Tecno Camon 16 or Realme 7 15

Adding to its ever-growing portfolio and stern competition to it’s Qualcomm counterpart, Taiwanese chipmaker, Mediatek has announced a new gaming Chipset for the Helio G90 series. The Helio G95 SoC offers a 5% boost in GPU performance over the G90T though the rest of the feature set is identical to the latter.

With the G95, MediaTek aims at closing the huge gap existing between the mid-range and flagship gaming smartphone segment and the first phone to use this processor could be the Tecno Camon 16 or Realme 7 with both due for official releases on September 3.

The G90T ended up on phones like the Redmi Note 8 and Note 9 Pro and Realme 6 , so the odds are on we likely get to see more phones with the G95 chip launch in the final lap of the third quarter of the year.

Here’s everything the Mediatek Helio G95 has on offer

Mediatek Helio G95 Features

Essentially, it would be best to understand that the Helio G95 SoC is an overclocked G90T processor, in that it comes with an upgraded Mali-G76 GPU running at 900MHz. The G90T, on the other hand, is equipped with a Mali-G57 GPU that’s running at 800MHz.

Features like HyperEngine game technology, multi-camera support of upto 4 sensors and an APU (AI processing unit) are also very much welcome. The chip also supports upto HDR10+ enhancement quality in real-time.

The G95 processor is manufactured using the 12nm fabrication process and has two Cortex-A76 cores running at 2.05GHz while the six power-efficient Cortex-A55 cores can run upto 2.0GHz.

MediaTek’s famed HyperEngine game technology is responsible for optimizing the gaming experience to provide the best connection speed, picture quality and ensures a smooth gameplay experience on budget devices. There are several customisation options that users can fine-tune further.

Furthermore, Helio G95 chipset supports upto 10GB LPDDR4x RAM, UFS 2.1 storage, upto Full HD+ displays with 90Hz refresh rate and dual 4G SIM cards.

Additionally, the chip can be paired with upto 64MP cameras with upto 4K UHD rerecording.

Mediatek unveils Helio G95 gaming Processor for budget smartphones, could debut on Tecno Camon 16 or Realme 7 16

The MediaTek Helio G95 will power many phones set to launch in September. The first of such as confirmed by Naijatechguy could be the Tecno Camon 16 set to launch on September 3 in India.

The smartphone has been teased with stunning bezeles display, a 64MP camera unit with Samsung’s GM1 or Sony’s IMX686 sensor here which could all play into the hands of the new Helio G95 processor.

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Android 11 Beta 2 Update Released, Emphasis on App Compatibility and Platform Stability Ahead of Public launch

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Android 11 Beta 2 Update Released, Emphasis on App Compatibility and Platform Stability Ahead of Public launch 17

The 11th iteration of Google’s Operating System – the Android 11 has initially been released for selected smartphones. But recent developments have seen the Android 11 Beta 2 released by Google for all compatible Google Pixel phones.

With the new release, Android 11 has reached the Platform Stability milestone, which means that the APIs and behaviours included in Android 11 are finalised now.

Pretty buggy wordings right? Don’t worry, hang on here with me.

Android 11 Beta 2 Update Released, Emphasis on App Compatibility and Platform Stability Ahead of Public launch 18

Google seems to prioritize app stability in it’s latest Beta release and is calling on developers to start updating their apps to target Android 11 and make them ready for its official release that will take place in the third quarter.

Although the search giant hasn’t yet revealed the release date of Android 11, it is briefly suggested that it could be September 8, the exact same timing for its Android 10 release last year.

Also, Google made sure to fix most errors reported with the first Beta release and even went on to throw in more spice therein. We will have an expansive look at everything new in Android 11 Beta 2 in a giffy.

Shall we!

Everything new in the Android 11 Beta 2 Update

One of the major changes that Android 11 Beta 2 brings over the existing beta release that debuted last month is its Platform Stability reach.

Android 11 Beta 2 platform Stability

Essentially, the “Platform Stability verification means that all app-facing surfaces and behaviors are now final in Android 11 ,” said Dave Burke, VP of Engineering, Android, in a blog post. “This includes not only final SDK and NDK APIs, but also final system behaviors and restrictions on non-SDK interfaces that may affect apps. So from Beta 2, you can release compatibility updates with assurance that the platform won’t change.”

Moreover, the Android team confirmed all major requirements are at their final stage for the new beta version, hence, developers are encouraged to start their compatibility testing and publish updates ahead of the official public Android 11 release.

Another major stress point for the recently released Android 11 Beta 2 is its special attention to app compatibility which really cannot be overemphasized.

This means that Google has brought the new beta 2 version to give a ground to developers to make sure that their apps run flawlessly without downtimes and crashes. Developers can test their apps either on an Android 11 Beta 2 device or using the latest emulator available on Android Studio.

“With each release, we’re working to reduce the work you’ll need to do to get your apps ready,” said Burke. “In Android 11, we’ve added new processes, developer tools, and release milestones to minimise the impact of platform updates and make it easier for apps to stay compatible.”

Now, I know I told you to stick by but all the jargons really doesn’t make much sense to you right? And I guess you really asking

What Android 11 Beta 2 release means for you the end user?

Is it really close to public launch or what? Just hit the godammn nail on the head will you!

Easy peasy!!!

Well, in a nut shell, it theoritically means we are gradually getting to the finishing line.

For end users, Android 11 Beta 2 doesn’t include any major surprises over what we already received through the last beta release. You’ll, however, get a list of interface changes that are offered to enhance the overall user experience.

One of the noticeable changes that Android 11 Beta 2 brings is the updated Pixel Launcher that no longer has transparency, as detailed by XDA Developers.

A Smooth Display toggle has also been added to the Display settings to let users easily enable automatic switching from 60 to 90Hz for select content. The existing Force 90Hz option in the Developer options menu has also been removed, as highlighted by some users on Reddit.

Google has also removed some clutter from the Share Sheet available on Android 11 Beta 2 and made a pin icon available for the apps that are pinned on the Share Sheet.

The default screen recording option on Android which has often been a headache for Android users also gets a major addition. Android 11 Beta 2 comes with the ability to record the device’s internal audio while capturing the screen. This is in addition to the existing audio recording from microphone option. You can also use the new addition to record the device’s audio as well as from its microphone simultaneously.

Moving on, a new icon to let you launch a conversation in a bubble has also been added. Similarly, the Allow apps to show bubbles option is now enabled by default for all apps to show conversations in bubbles. The list of supported apps, however, is currently not so populated and includes only renowned names such as Facebook Messenger and Google’s Messages Apps.

Developers have also received a cached apps freezer option that appears to “suspend execution for cached apps,” as noticed by XDA Developers. However, the Android team is yet to reveal the purpose of the new addition.

There is also a pre-installed app called Device Drop Monitor that uses the built-in sensors of the device to detect its dropping and log the duration of the freefall. Once the app detects a fall, it shows a notification to the user and asks them to complete a brief survey to provide details about the accident, as reported by XDA Developers.

This is crazy and one very essential for smartphones and pixel phones which will support pop-up camera module going forward.

Google says it will give users feedbacks after completing the survey that says the user inputs “will help improve the design on future Pixel devices.”

Finally, Google seems to have made the Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode a little more functional in the latest Android 11 Beta 2 update.

Early Android 11 beta testers, are reporting a limited resizability handling to the Picture-in-Picture (PiP) window in the Android 11 Beta 2. Also present is a dedicated settings for Conversations.

Furthermore, XDA Developers has noticed that the new media player that debuted in the earlier Android 11 Beta release is now available in the Quick Settings panel by default. This means that you don’t need to enable the Developer options menu to activate the new design.

Also, there is a reported new ripple animation effect that appears when you hit the play/ pause button on the media player available in the Quick Settings panel.

Bottom line

All in all, early impressions suggest Android 11 promises to come with a hench of features which definitely will mean more internal storage space options is needed.

Android 10 already gave birth to enormous storage options in smartphones, and with the continuous update been rolled out, we feel devices running or users hopping to update to the new OS should definitely have this at the back of their mind.

When could Google release Android 11 stable update?

We already mentioned how Google usually release it’s premier Operating System in the third quarter of the year, though the latest beta debut suggest we could already have a set date on our hands for the Android 11 stable release.

The search giant hosted a “Hey Google” Smart Home Summit in which it included a slide showcasing a “Checklist for September 8th Android 11 launch,” XDA Developers
reports.

Android 10 was launched in September last year. Thus, it makes sense for Google to launch its new iteration after one year. However, with the Global pandemic that is the Coronavirus pandemic pushing schedules to the extreme, no official communication on the release date has been made so far.

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