The last month of the year is not one of spectacular product releases and events in the mobile technology world. Everyone is looking ahead to the CES 2018 event in Las Vegas in January. However, this does not mean that nothing significant happened in the mobile industry.
From confirmed news to insider rumors, we have selected the most significant events which are very likely to reshape the way smartphones will look and work in the near future. Also, we have noted a brand new app launched by Facebook, as a response to parents’ demands for more online protection for their children against cyber bullying.
But without any further introductions, let us move on to the most significant news and events in the mobile technology world for December 2017.
Facebook Launches Messenger Kids
Cyber bullying is a serious threat against children who want to socialize online. At the same time, the lack of control over who is interacting with their kids is worrying parents around the world. To mitigate these fears Facebook has changed its rules, allowing only children 16 and older to join its main social media platform and has decided to launch a separate app, Messenger Kids, for children between 6-12 years old.
Messenger Kids needs a parent’s input and authorization before it is fully installed on the child’s smartphone. The app will require an adult to use their own Facebook account to authorize the device on which Messenger Kids is being installed.
The new child-friendly app does not allow any kind of advertising, and the personal data collected by Facebook will not be used in any way for marketing purposes. The parent is in full control of the list of contacts and can uninstall Messenger Kids at any moment.
Samsung Starts Manufacturing 512GB Storage Cards for Android
One thing Android phone owners will not have to worry about in 2018 is storage space. Starting from December 2017, Samsung has moved its 512GB storage card project to the production phase, and announced its intention to prepare an “aggressive production volume”, as the company states.
The new storage cards have the same size as standard flash memory cards and feature double density to support the enhanced storage space. The device consists of eight 64-layer V-NAND chips and a controller chip, and is capable of higher data processing speed:
- 860 MB/s for data reading;
- 255 MB/s for data writing.
This means, according to Samsung, that smartphone owners will be able to transfer a 5GB file to a SSD in around six seconds, eight times faster than using standard microSD cards.
In parallel with the new storage card production, Samsung will continue to increase the production volume for its 256GB flash memory card as well.
Synaptics to Unveil the First Under-Screen Fingerprint Sensor at CES 2018
Synaptics has put the finishing touches to its under-screen fingerprint scanner and is ready to equip it on a smartphone which will be first available for testing at the Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas in January 2018.
The new device, named Clear ID FS9500, currently works only with OLED mobile screens. Upon activation, it illuminates the fingerprint and processes the beams of light. The manufacturer states that the under-screen sensor will be just as secure as the current back panel sensor, which is equipped on various flagship phone models.
Moreover, the new sensor will feature enhanced protection to humidity and dirt thanks to its placement, sandwiched between the OLED screen and the motherboard.
The only unknown element is the smartphone model which will feature the new Clear ID FS9500 sensor. Synaptics dropped the hint that they were working with a “top five OEM”, meaning it could either be Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Vivo, or Xiaomi. Whichever OEM Synaptics is partnering with, it is certain that the technology is going to make waves at CES next January.
Qualcomm Launches Powerful Snapdragon System on a Chip
On Wednesday, December 6, Qualcomm officially launched its Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform, a System on a Chip (SoC) designed for highly immersive extended reality, high speed connectivity and on-device AI. This powerful SoC will be found on 2018 Android and Windows 10-powered flagship phones.
The Snapdragon 845 stands out through machine learning and augmented reality capacities, as well as the use of foveated imaging, a cutting edge technology which decreases power consumption and increases video quality. Compared to regular chipsets, the 845 SoC uses up 30% less power for graphics, games, video capture and extended reality applications.
Another key improvement of the Qualcomm System on a Chip is the capability of capturing cinema-grade images, with 64 times more high-dynamic range color information and playback on Ultra HD screens and monitors.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC will be equipped on flagship devices starting from the beginning of 2018.