TCL Demos Tri-fold and Rolling Phone Prototypes

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TCL Demos Tri-fold and Rolling Phone Prototypes
Number 1066
Broadcast Date MARCH 5, 2020
Episode Length 5:45
Hosts Rich Stroffolino

TCL demoed a working tri-fold smartphone and demoed a rolling concept phone, GM’s new Ultium can get 400 miles on a charge, and the security startup Corellium shows Android running on iOS.

Headlines

TCL showed off two prototype devices with flexible screens. The first was a working unit of their tri-fold phone, first showed as a non-functioning unit at CES. The device is a 6.65-inch phone when folded down, and expands into a 10-inch tablet. The phone uses two distinct hinge designs to fold flat, and TCL demonstrated using it in a two-pane fold as well. The other device featured a sliding design with a screen that rolls up into the back of the phone. A dummy device was demoed by TCL, but a video concept showed a motorized screen unrolling at the push of a button. TCL says its experimenting with dozens of form factors, and no timeline for these devices to come to market was announced.
General Motors announced a new battery called Ultium that uses pouch-style cells instead of cylindrical cells, which can be stacked vertically or horizontally. The Ultium's 50-200kWh range can get up to 400 miles on a charge. GM added aluminum to reduce the cobalt content by 70 percent. Ultium's cost should be below $100/kWh. GM plans to have 20 electric "nameplates" by 2023 with the first three coming in the next few months. Its plant in Hamtramck, Michigan will be retrofitted to produce autonomous and electric vehicles. Battery cells are to be supplied from a factory run by a joint venture with LG Chem in Lordstown, Ohio.
India's Supreme Court has sided with cryptocurrency exchanges that were banned in April 2018 by the central bank, barring banks from offering any services to support digital currencies. The court struck down the RBI’s curbs, which would let virtual currency investors and businesses in India push against stricter rules being planned by the government, and participate in projects such as Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency. The Supreme Court is separately hearing another case which will decide on regulations for digital currencies. The Indian central bank has been exploring creating a sovereign-backed digital currency and said private coins like Bitcoin increase potential for money laundering and other illegal activities.
9to5Google reports that Google Stadia began rolling out support for 4K gameplay in a browser, previously this was limited to playing on a Chromecast Ultra or supporting smart TV. A Stadia Pro subscription and at least a 35Mbps connection are needed to access 4K as part of the "best visual quality" setting on Stadia.
Google announced it hired former Sony game development leader Shannon Studstill to head a new Stadia Games and Entertainment studio. According to Stadia VP Jade Raymond, the new studio will focus on “exclusive games, using new gameplay mechanics, creative ways to play together, and unique interaction models that we’re just starting to explore.”
Apple updated its App Store review guidelines. These now state that developers must submit new and updated apps using the iOS 13 SDK and implement “Sign in with Apple” for apps that offer other services to log in with, both starting April 30, 2020. Apple also announced that new apps in the “dating” and “fortune telling” categories will be rejected unless they provide a “unique, high-quality experience.” Developers will also no longer be able to use custom notifications to ask for a user review, and apps can now send advertising push notifications if a user authorizes them.
Realme launched the Realme Band, a fitness wearable that costs 1,499 Indian Rupees, or about $20 USD. The band is IP68 waterproof rated and includes a 160x80 1-inch screen with a virtual button to change functions. An accelerometer wakes the band's display when raising your wrist, and includes customizable watch faces and smartphone notifications. The Band supports heart rate monitoring, step tracking, gives movement reminders, and nine modes to track activity for individual sports. The band is available on Realme's website and comes to Amazon on March 9th.
OnePlus announced it now offers home service and repair for devices in select India cities, including Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune, with plans to expand to all tier-1 and several tier-2 cities in the country. Users can apply for service using the OnePlus Care app, choose a time for service, and submit their location. OnePlus is also offering free pickup and dropoff device service, something already offered in India by RealMe and Xiaomi.
Bloomberg reports that, according to sources, Apple informed Apple Store technical support staff that replacement iPhones will be in short supply for the next two to four weeks, presumably as a result of supply chain issues from the COVID-19 outbreak. Apple employees also said that individual parts like screens and camera components are in short supply as well. Apple advised support staff to offer mail in replacement iPhones and provide loaner devices to customers to help ease the shortage.
Forbes reported on Project Sandcastle from the Cybersecurity startup Corellium, which allows Android to be run within iOS. Project Sandcastle uses the checkra1n jailbreak to launch, and is limited to iPhone 7, 7 Plus and current iPod Touch, running Android 10, although major items like the camera and Google Play store do not currently work. Corellium researcher David Wang previously got Android running on an original iPhone model, and is currently being sued by Apple for creating software versions of the iPhone for security and testing.

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Preceded by:
"Google Assistant Now Reads Webpages"
TCL Demos Tri-fold and Rolling Phone Prototypes
Followed by:
"Amazon and Facebook Shutdown Seattle-Area Offices Due to COVID-19"