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Qualcomm brings Satellite connectivity to Android with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, phones coming next half

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Qualcomm Satellite connectivity Android phones

Apple introduced the satellite connectivity feature with its iPhone 14 series and its functionalities drove Android customers crazy. Now Qualcomm has officially launched the Snapdragon Satellite feature to bring iPhone-like satellite connectivity to Android phones.

At CES 2023 event, Qualcomm officially announced the Snapdragon Satellite feature for premium smartphones. Qualcomm has made this feature more advanced than Apple’s satellite connectivity and introduced it as the world’s first satellite-based two-way capable messaging solution for Android phones.

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While explaining Snapdragon Satellite, the company says that it is powered by the Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF System and supported by a fully operational Iridium satellite constellation, which will enable OEMs and other service providers to deliver truly global coverage.

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Qualcomm Satellite connectivity Android phones

The chipmaker further said that the feature will be available for Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor-based high-end devices and will launch for smartphones in select regions in the second half of this year.

Aside from premium smartphones, the company will later expand the Snapdragon Satellite feature to other devices, including laptops, tablets, vehicles, and IoT.

Moreover, as the Snapdragon Satellite ecosystem grows, OEMs and app developers can leverage Satellite connectivity to differentiate and offer unique branded services. Snapdragon satellites are planned to support 5G non-terrestrial networks (NTN) as NTN satellite infrastructure and constellations become available.

Will Galaxy S23 get satellite connectivity? 

Earlier, it was reported that Samsung is testing Iridium Satellite Communication features for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered Galaxy S23 series. However, at the moment there is no official confirmation whether these phones will have a satellite connectivity feature or not.

Qualcomm Satellite connectivity Android phones

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Google’s Gemini Nano AI deal with Samsung on EU antitrust radar

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Samsung Google Gemini

EU seemingly investigating if Google’s Gemini AI deal with Samsung violates antitrust law. Regulators of the European Union seeking input from industry to know if Samsung’s Gemini AI deal constitutes anti-competitive conduct.

An EU document seen by Reuters indicates that the Commission wants the opinion of industry officials. The inquiry is about whether Samsung’s Galaxy S24 series with Gemini Nano would limit the pre-installation of rival AI chatbot platforms.

The query also includes whether Gemini Nano limits interoperability with other chatbots and apps on the Galaxy S24 series. Details are also required if there were any cases of failure in signing contracts with phone makers to pre-install AI chatbots.

“EU antitrust regulators are asking industry participants if Google’s multi-year generative artificial intelligence (AI) deal with Samsung hinders rival chatbots on Samsung smartphones.” – Reuters.

Earlier, EU competition authorities hinted at an antitrust investigation into Samsung and Google’s AI deal. The Commission’s Deputy Competition Commissioner asked to “understand the impact of pre-installing Google’s Gemini Nano on Samsung devices.”

The report notes that the executive committee distributed an 8-page questionnaire, with a response required by this week. Samsung and Google may be in trouble if the EU Commission observes any anti-competitive practices.

The Galaxy S24 series is the first to use the Gemini Nano AI model developed by Google. Both companies signed a multi-year partnership to fuel future products with the AI model. The Pixel 8 Pro also came pre-installed with Gemini Nano for on-device AI capabilities.

Samsung also brought Gemini AI to Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Z Fold 6 devices. Google is also preparing to introduce the Pixel 9 series next month, equipped with Gemini Nano. Apple is also in close-door talks with Google to include Gemini in iPhone models.

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Apple iPhone could support Samsung Wallet, Google Wallet in Europe

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Samsung Apple Canalys q4 2023

Apple iPhone users could soon be able to use Samsung Wallet and Google Wallet in Europe. Recently, the EU antitrust regulator revealed that Apple will open up its tap-and-go mobile payments system for third-party payment platforms in Europe.

KoreaTimes reports that the EU accepted Apple’s offer to open the NFC payments system. The iPhone maker agreed in favor of ending the antitrust probe began in 2020. It will expand Apple iPhone users’ choices beyond Apple Pay, such as Samsung Wallet and Google Wallet in Europe.

Apple’s agreement will be valid for a period of 10 years in EU territories. From now on, the US tech giant can no longer use its control over the iPhone ecosystem to keep other mobile wallets out of the market.

As Samsung Wallet looks to expand on the iPhone, Apple Pay is eating its market in its home ground. Following the launch in South Korea, Apple Pay is gradually gaining popularity. The company is expanding its support across categories to be acceptable everywhere.

European Union forced Apple to ditch its lighting port from products. The company replaced its lighting port with a universal USB C-Type port on iPhone models. iMessage is also adopting the RCS messaging standard that is heavily forced by Google.

Apple is also bringing place to third-party app markets on iPhones in Europe. Now with the latest development, iPhone users will be getting the choice to opt for a payment platform other than Apple Pay. It would be interesting to see whether Google or Samsung manage to make a solid entry.

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Gemini AI now functions on your Android’s lockscreen

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Samsung One UI 6.1.1 Galaxy AI

Google has upgraded the Gemini AI app to answer general questions even on your Android phone’s lockscreen. Initially, the company’s new Gemini app was limited to Google Assistant-level commands. Now, if you trigger Gemini on the lock screen, it will respond to some general questions.

The upgraded Gemini AI now allows you to “get answers on lockscreen from Gemini without unlocking your device.” You can now get weather information at a glance with the new Gemini application, but additional actions would require you to unlock the device first.

You can keep your phone locked if your query has been answered properly. If you prefer entering the whole user interface, just unlock the device using fingerprint or PIN. Once unlocked, you will get the keyboard in the popped-up state, offering seamless flow.

The Gemini app added a new “Gemini on lock screen” setting on the main preferences page. Google’s new “Gemini responses on lock screen” toggle completes the already available “Google Assistant on lock screen” option.

Notably, Google is rolling out this update to random users sequentially. You may soon notice the changes as soon as the update reaches your handset. As it’s the first deployment, you may not get responses to some basic queries, but not too long.

Similar to Google Assistant, Gemini was able to control alarms and timers, media (play/pause), and “some phone features,” like volume. As part of the “Utilities” Extension, the US tech giant is further enhancing the user experience through the Gemini app.

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