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Android 15 To Feature Enhanced Desktop Mode

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Android, known for its prowess in mobile computing, is gearing up to elevate its productivity potential with the upcoming Android 15 update. The focus? A significant overhaul of its desktop mode, aimed at bridging the gap between mobile and desktop computing experiences.

While Android introduced a rudimentary desktop mode back in 2019 with Android 10, it remained largely underdeveloped, primarily serving as a tool for developers to test app behavior in multi-display scenarios. However, Google has been quietly working on refining this feature since late 2022, with the intent of making it more user-friendly and robust.

Central to these improvements is the enhancement of window management capabilities. While Android already supports basic split-screen functionality, enabling users to run two apps simultaneously, its handling of multiple windows has been less intuitive compared to traditional desktop operating systems. Google aims to address this disparity by refining the freeform window mode introduced in Android 7.0, allowing for more seamless multitasking and manipulation of app windows.

In recent Android releases, Google has been progressively addressing key shortcomings of the desktop mode, albeit keeping these developments hidden behind flags to prevent premature access by users. Through experimentation with the latest Android 14 QPR3 Beta 2.1 update, enthusiasts have managed to unveil some of these enhancements, offering a glimpse into the evolving windowing system.

One notable improvement is the introduction of a customizable menu accessible via a small handle at the top of each full-screen app. This menu provides options to switch between full-screen, split-screen, and freeform modes, granting users greater control over window placement and resizing. Additionally, refinements such as title bars for freeform windows and intuitive drag-and-drop functionality aim to enhance the desktop experience further.

Despite these strides, Android still has room for improvement before it can rival established desktop operating systems. Challenges such as the absence of a robust desktop launcher, limited support for keyboard shortcuts, and incomplete drag-and-drop functionality persist. Nonetheless, Google’s recent enablement of display output on the Pixel 8 series suggests that the revamped desktop mode may debut alongside the upcoming Pixel 9 series, expected later this year.

In the interim, users seeking a desktop-like experience on their Android devices may turn to third-party solutions like Samsung Dex or Motorola Ready For, which already offer many features akin to those gradually being integrated into stock Android. As Google continues to refine its desktop mode, the convergence of mobile and desktop computing experiences edges closer, promising greater productivity and versatility for Android users worldwide.

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Asus Introduces Vivobook S15: The First Copilot Plus PC with Advanced AI-Driven Snapdragon Processors

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Asus has announced its first Copilot Plus PC, the Vivobook S15 (S5507), following Microsoft’s latest Windows event. This new laptop features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X-series processors, aiming to elevate performance and enhance AI-driven applications.

Advanced Processing Power

The Vivobook S15 will be available with either a 12-core Snapdragon X Elite processor or a 10-core Snapdragon X Plus processor. The X Elite serves as the base model, offering a slower integrated GPU and no dual-core boost. Asus claims that these ARM-based chips will significantly improve existing features and enable new AI-driven workloads with 45 TOPS of neural processing power.

Display and Design

The new Vivobook S15 retains the OLED display of its Intel-based predecessor, featuring:

  • 15.6-inch screen
  • 2880 x 1620 resolution
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 600 nits peak HDR brightness

This version also boasts a thinner chassis and narrower display bezels, enhancing its sleek design.

Memory, Storage, and Connectivity

Both configurations support up to 32GB of onboard memory and 1TB of PCIe 4.0 SSD storage. The Vivobook S15 includes a variety of ports:

  • Two USB-A ports
  • Two USB 4.0 Type-C ports
  • One HDMI 2.1 port
  • Audio/mic combo jack
  • MicroSD card reader

Connectivity features include Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4.

AI-Driven Features

Asus introduces the StoryCube app with the Vivobook S15, leveraging AI to sort, edit, manage, and export RAW photo and video files efficiently. The powerful NPU in the Snapdragon processors also promises to enhance other AI workloads in applications like Windows Studio Effects and Cocreator.

Target Audience

The Vivobook S15 is designed for digital artists, graphic designers, and other visual creatives, providing a budget-friendly alternative to Asus’s ProArt series. While some Vivobook models feature standalone GPUs, most, including this new model, rely on integrated graphics. The Snapdragon X series is Qualcomm’s response to Apple’s M-series chips, though its true performance will be gauged once the laptops ship.

Availability and Pricing

The Vivobook S15 with a Snapdragon X Elite processor is available for pre-order now, with shipping starting June 18th. The 32GB/1TB version, priced at $1,399, will be available exclusively at Costco. A 16GB/1TB version will be offered at $1,299 through multiple retailers. The Snapdragon X Plus model is expected later this year, though pricing details are yet to be announced.

Asus’s new Vivobook S15, with its powerful Snapdragon processors and AI capabilities, marks a significant advancement in laptop technology. This launch positions Asus to compete more effectively in a market currently dominated by Intel and Apple, offering powerful yet affordable options for creative professionals.

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Vivo To Unveil Y200 Series with Y200t and Y200 GT

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Vivo, a prominent player in the smartphone market, continues to strengthen its lineup with the introduction of two new additions to its Y200 series – the Vivo Y200t and Y200 GT. These latest offerings are poised to capture the attention of consumers seeking a balance between performance and affordability in the competitive mid-range segment.

Vivo Y200t: Balancing Budget and Performance

The Vivo Y200t is positioned as a budget-friendly option without compromising on essential features. It boasts a generous 6.72-inch LCD display with Full HD+ resolution and an impressive 120Hz refresh rate, ensuring smooth visuals for an enhanced user experience. Under the hood, the device is powered by the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chipset, providing reliable performance for everyday tasks and multitasking.

Users can choose between configurations with 8 GB or 12 GB of RAM, paired with storage options ranging from 128 GB to 512 GB, ensuring ample space for apps, media, and more. One of the standout features of the Y200t is its substantial 6,000 mAh battery, coupled with 44W fast-charging support, delivering convenience and peace of mind for users on the go.

In the camera department, the Y200t sports a modest setup, featuring a 50 MP primary camera and a 2 MP depth sensor, along with an 8 MP front-facing camera for selfies and video calls. Running on OriginOS 4 based on Android 14, the device also includes an in-display fingerprint scanner for added security.

Vivo Y200 GT: Elevating the Mid-Range Experience

On the other hand, the Vivo Y200 GT caters to consumers looking for a premium mid-range offering with enhanced specifications. Essentially a rebranded iQOO Z9, it features a stunning 6.78-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution and an impressive 144Hz refresh rate, delivering vibrant colors and smooth visuals.

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 chipset, paired with either 8 GB or 12 GB of RAM and up to 512 GB of internal storage, the Y200 GT offers robust performance for demanding tasks and gaming. Despite its sleek design, it houses the same 6,000 mAh battery found in the Y200t but offers an even faster 80W fast-charging technology, ensuring minimal downtime.

In terms of imaging capabilities, the Y200 GT boasts a 50 MP primary camera with a Sony LYT-600 sensor, complemented by a 2 MP depth sensor and optical image stabilization (OIS). For selfie enthusiasts, it features a 16 MP front-facing camera, capturing stunning self-portraits and video calls with ease.

Both smartphones run on OriginOS 4 based on Android 14 and feature an in-display fingerprint scanner for added security. Available in black and blue color options, the Y200t and Y200 GT are set to go on open sale in China starting May 24, offering consumers a compelling choice in the mid-range smartphone segment.

With their blend of performance, features, and affordability, the Vivo Y200t and Y200 GT are poised to make waves in the competitive smartphone market, catering to the diverse needs of consumers seeking value and innovation in their mobile devices.

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TikTok Tests 60-Minute Video Uploads

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TikTok has begun testing the ability for users to upload 60-minute videos, the company confirmed to TechCrunch on Thursday. This new feature is currently available to a limited group of users in select markets, with no immediate plans for a broader rollout.

First identified by social media consultant Matt Navarra, this development signifies a major shift from TikTok’s original format. Initially, the app allowed only 15-second videos. Over the years, however, TikTok has gradually increased this limit. While the platform gained popularity through its short-form video format, it has been gradually adopting longer content to challenge YouTube, one of its main competitors.

TikTok’s motivation for extending the video length stems from creator feedback. The company notes that while creators can currently link multipart stories, there is a demand for longer, uninterrupted content. Creators want more time for cooking demonstrations, beauty tutorials, educational lessons, comedic sketches, and other types of content.

The 60-minute video upload feature aims to provide creators with the flexibility to experiment with new or expanded content types. By enabling longer videos, TikTok hopes to attract creators who traditionally post on YouTube, encouraging them to share their content on TikTok as well.

This extended time limit could also introduce new content forms to the platform, such as full episodes of TV shows. Last year, Peacock released the first episode of “Killing It” on TikTok in five parts. With the 60-minute limit, such episodes could be uploaded in one piece, eliminating the need for fragmentation.

Many networks already leverage YouTube by uploading the first episodes of TV shows to attract viewers. The increased upload limit on TikTok could entice them to do the same on this platform. Networks are already engaging with audiences on TikTok, and the new feature could encourage them to share more extensive content.

While longer videos might not appeal to all TikTok users, the company has been enhancing the viewing experience for long-form content. TikTok has been testing a horizontal full-screen mode and video-scrubbing thumbnails. Additionally, a feature rolled out last year allows users to fast-forward videos by holding down the right side of the screen.

As with any experimental feature, it remains uncertain when or if TikTok will make the 60-minute video upload option widely available.

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