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Twitter increases character count for the first time in eleven years

For the first time since the service debuted back in 2006, Twitter is increasing the character count of its posts (called tweets) from the original 140 characters to 280 characters. The change is being rolled out to a small group of users right now and will be available to everyone soon.
140 characters on left and 280 characters on right
In its blog post, Twitter explained how most users were frequently running into the 140 character limit. This was especially common to English speaking users, who would eventually have to split their thoughts into two or more tweets chained together as replies.
In comparison, however, Asian users in China, Japan and Korea did not face the same problem, as the nature of their characters allowed them to express more in fewer characters. This resulted in very few of the East Asian users using up all of the 140 characters.
Because of this, Twitter has decided not to roll out the 280 character limit to Chinese, Japanese and Korean users. Everyone else should be getting it soon.
The 140 character limit is a remnant of the past back when the site had a feature to send tweets over SMS. In order to fit a tweet into the 160 character limit of a single SMS, along with some extra characters, the length of a tweet was limited to 140.
However, the SMS service has long been put to rest so apart from the differentiating factor of the 140 character limit there was no logical reason for Twitter to stick to 140 characters anymore. However, since the service is still about brevity they didn't just lift character limit altogether and decided to go with 280, which is large enough for most people to now fit their thoughts within just one tweet.
It remains to be seen how users take advantage of this new limit. Of course, everyone will do it differently, some in ways that may not be very nice. Twitter famously has an online harassment problem, which the company continues to ignore and it may have just given an even bigger weapon in the hands of the miscreants. Still, for the vast majority of the users who aren't terrible, this will only be a good thing.
For the first time since the service debuted back in 2006, Twitter is increasing the character count of its posts (called tweets) from the original 140 characters to 280 characters. The change is being rolled out to a small group of users right now and will be available to everyone soon.
140 characters on left and 280 characters on right
In its blog post, Twitter explained how most users were frequently running into the 140 character limit. This was especially common to English speaking users, who would eventually have to split their thoughts into two or more tweets chained together as replies.
In comparison, however, Asian users in China, Japan and Korea did not face the same problem, as the nature of their characters allowed them to express more in fewer characters. This resulted in very few of the East Asian users using up all of the 140 characters.
Because of this, Twitter has decided not to roll out the 280 character limit to Chinese, Japanese and Korean users. Everyone else should be getting it soon.
The 140 character limit is a remnant of the past back when the site had a feature to send tweets over SMS. In order to fit a tweet into the 160 character limit of a single SMS, along with some extra characters, the length of a tweet was limited to 140.
However, the SMS service has long been put to rest so apart from the differentiating factor of the 140 character limit there was no logical reason for Twitter to stick to 140 characters anymore. However, since the service is still about brevity they didn't just lift character limit altogether and decided to go with 280, which is large enough for most people to now fit their thoughts within just one tweet.
It remains to be seen how users take advantage of this new limit. Of course, everyone will do it differently, some in ways that may not be very nice. Twitter famously has an online harassment problem, which the company continues to ignore and it may have just given an even bigger weapon in the hands of the miscreants. Still, for the vast majority of the users who aren't terrible, this will only be a good thing.

Samsung's upcoming Windows Mixed Reality headset leaks

Samsung is getting ready to jump into the Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) space. The Korean company is working on a WMR headset of its own, which will compete in the market with offerings such as Asus' and Lenovo's - both of which are already official.
The Samsung WMR headset comes with AKG-branded built-in headphones, and one picture shows it alongside Microsoft's motion controllers.
This product might get unveiled at Microsoft's event on October 3, which is all about the future of the WMR platform. Unfortunately no other details about Samsung's WMR headset have been outed - so we don't know how much it will cost, for example. Hopefully that will be announced soon.
Samsung is getting ready to jump into the Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) space. The Korean company is working on a WMR headset of its own, which will compete in the market with offerings such as Asus' and Lenovo's - both of which are already official.
The Samsung WMR headset comes with AKG-branded built-in headphones, and one picture shows it alongside Microsoft's motion controllers.
This product might get unveiled at Microsoft's event on October 3, which is all about the future of the WMR platform. Unfortunately no other details about Samsung's WMR headset have been outed - so we don't know how much it will cost, for example. Hopefully that will be announced soon.

Huawei to launch the Honor 7X on October 11

Huawei’s subsidiary is bringing a follow-up of its Honor 6X mid-ranger. The new device will be called Honor 7X and will arrive on October 11, the company announced on Weibo.
Huawei launches the Honor 7X on October 11 The image comes with a slogan, roughly translated as “Want to see farther than ordinary people? Higher? Wider? Everywhere is your world.” This most likely means the phone will have an 18:9 ratio EntireView display, as is the trend lately.
Rumors have it that the Honor 7X will have 5.5” screen and a Kirin 670 chipset. The memory will be 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage. Huawei is yet to launch a new version of its Emotion UI, so the Honor 7X is most likely to run EMUI 5.1 on top of the Android 7.1 Nougat.
The price of Honor 7X is expected to be between CNY1,500 and CNY1,800 or around $220-$270.
Huawei’s subsidiary is bringing a follow-up of its Honor 6X mid-ranger. The new device will be called Honor 7X and will arrive on October 11, the company announced on Weibo.
Huawei launches the Honor 7X on October 11 The image comes with a slogan, roughly translated as “Want to see farther than ordinary people? Higher? Wider? Everywhere is your world.” This most likely means the phone will have an 18:9 ratio EntireView display, as is the trend lately.
Rumors have it that the Honor 7X will have 5.5” screen and a Kirin 670 chipset. The memory will be 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage. Huawei is yet to launch a new version of its Emotion UI, so the Honor 7X is most likely to run EMUI 5.1 on top of the Android 7.1 Nougat.
The price of Honor 7X is expected to be between CNY1,500 and CNY1,800 or around $220-$270.

Huawei Mate 10 Pro renders show the bezel-less front, the Leica dual cam on the back

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro leaks are back, with a more revealing photoshoot this time. These renders show the front and the back of the upcoming flagship.
Huawei Mate 10 renders
Huawei Mate 10 renders
On the front, you can see the 5.9” EntireView display – free from bezels and with an 18:9 aspect ratio (likely an AMOLED to boot). That’s a good look for the Mate series.
On the back, things look interesting as well. The resolution is a bit low, but you can see three circles: the top two make up the new Leica dual cam (rumored to have two f/1.6 lenses) while the bottom circle is the fingerprint reader. The LED flash and Laser AF are on the sides.
Huawei Mate 10 renders Huawei Mate 10 renders
Huawei Mate 10 renders
The Pro will be one of four variants of the Huawei Mate 10, including the base version, a Lite and a Plus model.
The Huawei Mate 10 Pro leaks are back, with a more revealing photoshoot this time. These renders show the front and the back of the upcoming flagship.
Huawei Mate 10 renders
Huawei Mate 10 renders
On the front, you can see the 5.9” EntireView display – free from bezels and with an 18:9 aspect ratio (likely an AMOLED to boot). That’s a good look for the Mate series.
On the back, things look interesting as well. The resolution is a bit low, but you can see three circles: the top two make up the new Leica dual cam (rumored to have two f/1.6 lenses) while the bottom circle is the fingerprint reader. The LED flash and Laser AF are on the sides.
Huawei Mate 10 renders Huawei Mate 10 renders
Huawei Mate 10 renders
The Pro will be one of four variants of the Huawei Mate 10, including the base version, a Lite and a Plus model.

Was the Nokia 6 Arte Black canceled?

Nokia 6, Nokia 6, where Arte thou? Seriously though, what happened to the Arte Black version, which promised 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage in addition to the exclusive piano black finish?
We snooped around Nokia’s western sites and this model was nowhere to be found. On third party stores, we did spot a few 64GB non-Arte models, but those are gray imports from China.
We only found it on the Romanian site, with no obvious way to buy it. We tried various Romanian online stores, but none of them had it (aside from a few more gray imports).
Was the Nokia 6 Arte Black canceled? So, has the Nokia 6 Arte Black been canceled? There’s no official confirmation either way, the latest tweet from @NokiaMobile to mention it is as recent as last Sunday. A lot of people are looking for it, however.
Nokia 6, Nokia 6, where Arte thou? Seriously though, what happened to the Arte Black version, which promised 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage in addition to the exclusive piano black finish?
We snooped around Nokia’s western sites and this model was nowhere to be found. On third party stores, we did spot a few 64GB non-Arte models, but those are gray imports from China.
We only found it on the Romanian site, with no obvious way to buy it. We tried various Romanian online stores, but none of them had it (aside from a few more gray imports).
Was the Nokia 6 Arte Black canceled? So, has the Nokia 6 Arte Black been canceled? There’s no official confirmation either way, the latest tweet from @NokiaMobile to mention it is as recent as last Sunday. A lot of people are looking for it, however.

Google celebrates its 19th birthday

Back in 1997 Larry Page started a search engine named after the number “googol” and 19 years later we all celebrate the birthday of one of the largest tech companies globally. Today may be a day for celebrations over at Mountain View, but we also get to feast with 19 surprises, available through a spinning wheel and a new Easter egg.
When you google “google birthday surprise spinner”, you’ll get a spinning wheel like the one on “The Price is Right”. Spinning it, you get plenty of surprises, including games like tic-tac-toe, Solitaire, a tour around the Galapagos islands or Earth Day quiz.
Google celebrates its 19th birthday The Easter egg is also intriguing. When you enter “snake” into the search bar, you’ll get the Snake game before any suggestions, results, and images. Playing the game is easy both on desktop and mobile.
Google boasts that it currently serves 4.5 billion users in 160 countries and speaks 123 languages. Here’s to many more!
Back in 1997 Larry Page started a search engine named after the number “googol” and 19 years later we all celebrate the birthday of one of the largest tech companies globally. Today may be a day for celebrations over at Mountain View, but we also get to feast with 19 surprises, available through a spinning wheel and a new Easter egg.
When you google “google birthday surprise spinner”, you’ll get a spinning wheel like the one on “The Price is Right”. Spinning it, you get plenty of surprises, including games like tic-tac-toe, Solitaire, a tour around the Galapagos islands or Earth Day quiz.
Google celebrates its 19th birthday The Easter egg is also intriguing. When you enter “snake” into the search bar, you’ll get the Snake game before any suggestions, results, and images. Playing the game is easy both on desktop and mobile.
Google boasts that it currently serves 4.5 billion users in 160 countries and speaks 123 languages. Here’s to many more!

KGI: iPhone 8 sales are not weak, people are just waiting for the iPhone X

The slipping shipping dates should have been a clue – the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are selling as well as expected, claim industry analysts at KGI. According to their numbers, the two 8 models saw roughly half the sales during the opening week compared to last year’s iPhone 7.
But KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo (usually an authoritative source) expects that the iPhone X will match the sales of the 8 and 8 Plus combined. This will bring sale numbers back to where they need to be. Earlier, KGI predicted 50+ million pre-orders for the X, so it’s a matter of how fast Apple can make them.
Keep in mind that even at equal number of phones sold, Apple will earn more money – the $1,000 iPhone X will increase the Average Selling Price (ASP) of Cupertino’s product line.
KGI: iPhone 8 sales are not weak, people are just waiting for the iPhone X Additional curious info from the launch weekend sales show that the iPhone 8 Plus outsold the smaller model. In previous years the smaller and more affordable model lead in the sales.
Kuo writes: "While we acknowledge that queues outside SIM-free channels have been much shorter than after previous iPhone launches, we see stable first-weekend demand for the iPhone 8/8 Plus in carrier channels. Most of those camping outside unlocked-device outlets are presumably hardcore Apple fans and heavy users, whose plan this year is to gear up for the iPhone X."
The slipping shipping dates should have been a clue – the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are selling as well as expected, claim industry analysts at KGI. According to their numbers, the two 8 models saw roughly half the sales during the opening week compared to last year’s iPhone 7.
But KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo (usually an authoritative source) expects that the iPhone X will match the sales of the 8 and 8 Plus combined. This will bring sale numbers back to where they need to be. Earlier, KGI predicted 50+ million pre-orders for the X, so it’s a matter of how fast Apple can make them.
Keep in mind that even at equal number of phones sold, Apple will earn more money – the $1,000 iPhone X will increase the Average Selling Price (ASP) of Cupertino’s product line.
KGI: iPhone 8 sales are not weak, people are just waiting for the iPhone X Additional curious info from the launch weekend sales show that the iPhone 8 Plus outsold the smaller model. In previous years the smaller and more affordable model lead in the sales.
Kuo writes: "While we acknowledge that queues outside SIM-free channels have been much shorter than after previous iPhone launches, we see stable first-weekend demand for the iPhone 8/8 Plus in carrier channels. Most of those camping outside unlocked-device outlets are presumably hardcore Apple fans and heavy users, whose plan this year is to gear up for the iPhone X."

Sony exec: next-gen Xperias to have bezel-less design

Managing Director of Sony India, Kenichiro Hibi, has stated that Sony is planning to launch next-gen Xperia phones and “you can expect a completely new design from the devices”. In other words, OmniBalance that has been employed since 2013 with the Xperia Z may be coming to an end.
Hibi knows the direction that the market is heading - 18:9 phones with bezel-less designs. And Sony may join this design trend with a new device “soon”.
The company has neglected the low-end and even its mid-rangers have premium ambitions. With that in mind, Sony can’t afford to keep an old school design when the market leaders have all jumped on the bezel-less bandwagon.
Sony India exec: next-gen Xperias can have bezel-less design Hibi says that while the Indian market is focused on entry-level phones, Sony is doubling down on high end and mid-range devices. Something like an Xperia XA1 Plus is billed as “premium mid-range” while even the XZ1 is not the true flagship – that honor goes to the XZ Premium instead.
Managing Director of Sony India, Kenichiro Hibi, has stated that Sony is planning to launch next-gen Xperia phones and “you can expect a completely new design from the devices”. In other words, OmniBalance that has been employed since 2013 with the Xperia Z may be coming to an end.
Hibi knows the direction that the market is heading - 18:9 phones with bezel-less designs. And Sony may join this design trend with a new device “soon”.
The company has neglected the low-end and even its mid-rangers have premium ambitions. With that in mind, Sony can’t afford to keep an old school design when the market leaders have all jumped on the bezel-less bandwagon.
Sony India exec: next-gen Xperias can have bezel-less design Hibi says that while the Indian market is focused on entry-level phones, Sony is doubling down on high end and mid-range devices. Something like an Xperia XA1 Plus is billed as “premium mid-range” while even the XZ1 is not the true flagship – that honor goes to the XZ Premium instead.

Another Huawei Mate 10? A different design for the Leica dual cam on the back

At this point, there have been fewer Elvis sightings than Huawei Mate 10 leaks. Here’s yet another model – we think it’s not the Pro or the Lite, it could be the Plus model but who can even tell at this point.
The main thing to notice in these photos is the label next to the camera. It says “ASPH”, an aspheric lens, which indicates this is a Leica cam. But note the other part – it has an f/2.2 aperture, much slower than the rumored f/1.6 aperture that the new models are supposed to have.
The aspheric lens points to a Leica camera on this Huawei device The aspheric lens points to a Leica camera on this Huawei device
The aspheric lens points to a Leica camera on this Huawei device
Renders suggest that the Mate 10 Pro will look like this and a camera like that probably doesn’t deserve a Plus moniker. But the Mate 10 Lite is already official (though it is known as Maimang 6 for now).
The design of the dual camera is quite interesting – there seems to be a dual LED flash on its right and (we guess) a Laser AF sensor on its left. The whole thing has a bit of an LG V30 vibe to it, doesn’t it?
The overall design is not in line with our expectations of the Mate 10 though The overall design is not in line with our expectations of the Mate 10 though
The overall design is not in line with our expectations of the Mate 10 though
Anyway, we’re glad to see the fingerprint reader away from the camera. Also note the USB-C port and 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom. Assuming this is a real device, of course.
At this point, there have been fewer Elvis sightings than Huawei Mate 10 leaks. Here’s yet another model – we think it’s not the Pro or the Lite, it could be the Plus model but who can even tell at this point.
The main thing to notice in these photos is the label next to the camera. It says “ASPH”, an aspheric lens, which indicates this is a Leica cam. But note the other part – it has an f/2.2 aperture, much slower than the rumored f/1.6 aperture that the new models are supposed to have.
The aspheric lens points to a Leica camera on this Huawei device The aspheric lens points to a Leica camera on this Huawei device
The aspheric lens points to a Leica camera on this Huawei device
Renders suggest that the Mate 10 Pro will look like this and a camera like that probably doesn’t deserve a Plus moniker. But the Mate 10 Lite is already official (though it is known as Maimang 6 for now).
The design of the dual camera is quite interesting – there seems to be a dual LED flash on its right and (we guess) a Laser AF sensor on its left. The whole thing has a bit of an LG V30 vibe to it, doesn’t it?
The overall design is not in line with our expectations of the Mate 10 though The overall design is not in line with our expectations of the Mate 10 though
The overall design is not in line with our expectations of the Mate 10 though
Anyway, we’re glad to see the fingerprint reader away from the camera. Also note the USB-C port and 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom. Assuming this is a real device, of course.

Mediatek introduces the MT6739 chipset

The India Mobile Congress 2017 was the host of a Mediatek event where the Chinese company announced a new entry-level chipset MT6739. The SoC has quad-core CPU and supports two main cameras, 18:9 ratio screens and dual VoLTE.
Mediatek introduces the MT6739 in India The processor has four Cortex-A53 cores and operates at up to 1.5 GHz. Its screen resolution support is limited to to 1440x720 pixels - 720p in 18:9 ratio. The modem is LTE Cat.4, and dual SIMS are supported.
Here’s a full list of the MT6739 specs:
  • CPU: 4x ARM Cortex-A53 up to 1.5GHz
  • Memory: LPDDR3 (Up to 3GB, 667MHz)
  • Storage: eMMC 5.1
  • Camera: 8M+0.3M (VGA) dual camera
  • Video Decoding: 1080p @ 30FPS, H.264/HEVC
  • Video Encoding: 1080p @ 30FPS, H.264
  • Graphics: IMG PowerVR GE8100 up to 570MHz
  • Display: 1440 x 720
  • Modem: 4G LTE Cat. 4 DL / Cat. 5 UL (FDD/TDD), C2K SRLTE, L+G, L+W/L+L DSDS, eMBMS, HPUE, 600MHz band supported
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, FM, GPS+Glonass / GPS+Beidou
The MT6739 is arriving as an update to the MT6735, and will power smartphones by the end of 2017.
The India Mobile Congress 2017 was the host of a Mediatek event where the Chinese company announced a new entry-level chipset MT6739. The SoC has quad-core CPU and supports two main cameras, 18:9 ratio screens and dual VoLTE.
Mediatek introduces the MT6739 in India The processor has four Cortex-A53 cores and operates at up to 1.5 GHz. Its screen resolution support is limited to to 1440x720 pixels - 720p in 18:9 ratio. The modem is LTE Cat.4, and dual SIMS are supported.
Here’s a full list of the MT6739 specs:
  • CPU: 4x ARM Cortex-A53 up to 1.5GHz
  • Memory: LPDDR3 (Up to 3GB, 667MHz)
  • Storage: eMMC 5.1
  • Camera: 8M+0.3M (VGA) dual camera
  • Video Decoding: 1080p @ 30FPS, H.264/HEVC
  • Video Encoding: 1080p @ 30FPS, H.264
  • Graphics: IMG PowerVR GE8100 up to 570MHz
  • Display: 1440 x 720
  • Modem: 4G LTE Cat. 4 DL / Cat. 5 UL (FDD/TDD), C2K SRLTE, L+G, L+W/L+L DSDS, eMBMS, HPUE, 600MHz band supported
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, FM, GPS+Glonass / GPS+Beidou
The MT6739 is arriving as an update to the MT6735, and will power smartphones by the end of 2017.